Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Château de Versailles

On Friday, Steven, Michael and I, went with Marcus and his family to Versailles. It's a little over 20 km (~14) southwest of Paris by train. It was amazing!!! It's no reason that it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list for over 30 years.

Le Château de Versailles began as Louis XIII's hunting lodge. In 1682, Louis XIV expanded Versailles and moved the French court here.

The three French kings that followed all added improvements until the royal family was forced back to Paris in 1789 after the start of the French Revolution.

Most of the palace's furnishings were stripped during the revolution. In the 19th century Versailles became host to the Museum of the History of France.

The place is just massive and incredibly beautiful.

The gardens are amazing but unfortunately none of the fountains were running. I guess it was still to early in the year.

Here are a few details to appreciate how big it really is...

Floor space..........67,000 m2 (+721,000 sq ft)
# of windows.............2,153
# of rooms..................700
Museum paintings....6,123
Museum sculptures..2,102

The only thing that I didn't care for were these giant steel sculptures that were being set up. French artist Bernar Venet is displaying seven contemporary sculptures from June 1st to November 1st, 2011. I'm sure that some people will like them but to me they just looked like a bunch of rusting geometric steel beams that weren't quite finished. But to each their own.

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