When the château was built, Versailles was just a small 11th century village. Today, it is a wealthy suburb about 12-miles southwest of Paris. Known simply as Versailles, it was the seat of political power in the Kingdom of France from 1682, when Louis XIV moved the royal court from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution. I've been to Versailles several times before, but it was so wonderful to return and explore the enormous Palace and outdoor grounds with my grandchildren, Jude and Truman - they love learning and were amazed with all they saw.
Here are more photos from our holiday trip - Versailles and Paris. And be sure to see additional photos on my Instagram page @marthastewart48.
On our second day in Paris, we ate at L’Espadon, which is at the Ritz. This is the “American Breakfast” – the 60-Euros breakfast for the children.
The tower is fading-serious smog all but hid the tower.
Look at the line- how nice to have prepaid tickets for early admission to the Louvre. http://www.louvre.fr/en
Here are Beverly and Truman – it was very, very cold.
Gilded gates with the Sun King and spider webs guard the entrance to Versailles. A replica of the original wrought iron and gold leaf gate welcomes visitors to Louix XVI’s former power base.
A total of 100-thousand gold leaves were used.
Our trip to Versailles – here is the grand entrance to the royal château in the Île-de-France region of France. http://en.chateauversailles.fr/
We were greeted by Louis XIV himself! Louis XIV, known also as Louis the Great or the Sun King, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715.
Here is a modern sculpture of lights in the entrance hall.
Amazing allegorical paintings abound in the palace.
And, allegorical carvings also.
This was my sixth visit to Versailles- I see new things each visit.
Here is our first view of the gardens, which occupy part of what was once the Domaine royal de Versailles. Situated to the west of the palace, the gardens cover about two-thousand acres of land, much of which is landscaped in the classic French Garden style perfected here by André Le Nôtre.
The children wanted to go outside to run around… which we did!
I do not remember so many buildings in the view during my first visit in the 1960s.
Alexis looks very French in the photo.
So much needs attention of the curators.
This is the Bernini bust of Louis XIV, a marble portrait by the Italian artist, Gian Lorenzo Bernini. It was created in 1665 during Bernini’s visit to Paris and has been called the “grandest piece of portraiture of the baroque age”. The bust is in the Salon de Diane in the King’s Grand Apartment.
Here’s Louis XIV – this time in high heeled shoes, garters, and ermine robes.
Here is a marble relief of King Louis XIV.
Each of the three Louis kings- XIV, XV, XVI, were married to Maries- this is the XV’s wife, Marie of Poland.
There are wonderful allegorical paintings on most ceilings.
The symmetry of the gardens is wonderful.
This is how crowded it really was in the entire Palace- sardines in a can come to mind.
Children know how to disregard crowds.
This is the Hall of Mirrors, or Galerie des Glaces. It is the most celebrated room in the château of Versailles. The room’s construction began in 1678. Germany pronounced itself an empire in the Hall of Mirrors in 1871, but later, in the same room, the 1919 treaty that ended the first world war was signed.
Here is a self portrait with mirrors.
The seats have amazing French brocade.
This is the bedroom of Louis XV. The chamber’s opulent decor of gold and silver brocade on a crimson ground was also a backdrop for many paintings.
Here is his bed. This bedchamber is in a room lying east to west in the Palace, facing the rising sun.
All the marble in Versailles was quarried in France.
This is called the Marble Court, completely paved in black and white marble.
No view of the perspective – this is from the southern part of the Parterre d’Eau, with the bronze statue of the Rhône River by Jean-Baptiste Tuby, 1687.
My grandchildren loved running through the grounds.
Following our visit to the great Palace, we stopped at a few shops. This one is Vilmorin, a wonderful French seed producer. Here are Jude and Alexis choosing this year’s garden seeds. The shop is on the bank of the Seine. http://www.vilmorin-jardin.fr
The company has a long history in France, where it was family-controlled for almost two-centuries. I can’t wait to see how all these seeds grow.
W also stopped at E. Dehillerin, the world famous culinary supply store. http://www.e-dehillerin.fr
Established in 1820, this iconic institution is the center for high-end culinary equipment, from dishes and serving utensils to cookware, knives and specialty tools from around the world.
The shop is packed with kitchen tools of all kinds.
This is the Smallable Concept Store – a favorite in the heart of St Germain-des-Près in Paris. http://fr.smallable.com/
The shop offers more than 600 designer brands with beautiful children’s designer clothes, fashion for women and teens, and stylish home interiors.
Jude loved this costume.
Here I am in front of Le Hangar, where we enjoyed another wonderful Parisian meal. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Le-Hangar/442351975783191