Three days was such a short time when I came to Paris. Nevertheless, I’m so happy that I had the opportunity to explore this beautiful city. Due to short amount of time, I decided to dedicate one day in visiting the Palace of Versailles, just in the outskirts of the city central, instead of going to the Louvre.
What I love about winter is that there were less crowds in interesting places. Given that this is Paris, there were still hordes of people expected to visit the site but it was nothing compared to visitors during summer. The advantages of winter are the facts that it is cold and there are less crowds. I enjoy the cold weather, I’d rather be cozy in thick layers of clothes rather than be drenched with sweat in a singlet. The only con was that the gardens always look gloomy during winter.
The palace first served as a hunting lodge and private retreat for Louis XIII and his family. During the reign of Louis XIV, it was made into an extravagant complex surrounded by stylized English and French gardens. Later on, the seat of the court and government of France was transferred to Versailles in 1682. During its glorious days, the chateau was a place that embodied royal power and grandiosity of Louis XIV through the elegance of French art.
The court of Versailles was the center of political power in France from 1682 until 1789, when the royal family was forced to return to the capital after the beginning of the French Revolution.
Some of the most famous features of the palace are the Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors) Grands Appartements (State Apartments) and the Gardens. The Hall of Mirrors feature wide, arcaded mirrors with glass chandeliers which hang from its arched, ornately painted ceiling while gilded statues and reliefs border its walls. The hall is bordered on opposite ends by the Salon de la Paix (Salon of Peace) and Salon de la Guerre (Salon of War).
The entrance fee in the chateau costs about 18 euros . I highly recommend to spend at least half a day to fully appreciate the history and beauty of the palace. It is also useful to check the official website for maps, exhibition information and other tips that could prove helpful to your visit.