VERSAILLES, FRANCE


Versailles
Located in western outskirts of Paris and widely known for the eponymous castle, Versailles is a small town which, with its entire architecture and arrangement, arises exaltation and leaves without breath. The first written record dates back in 1083., when Versailles was a prosperous place on route from Paris to Normandy. Further flourishment began in 1575. when it was acquired by the Gondi family. Frequent guest on the estate was king Louis XIII who, in 1622., purchased a forrest parcel for his private hunting expeditions and, by 1632., the whole property. His son, Louis XIV, converted the estate and manor itself to relocate his government there, what finally happened in 1682. His heirs, Louis XV and Louis XVI continued to rule in Versailles which became the seat of political power up until French revolution in 1789. Today, retaining a whiff of bourgeoisie from the past, Versailles is considered a chic suburb of French capital.

Versailles

Versailles
The brightest jewel of Versailles is its Castle, one of the greatest achievements of seventeenth century French art. It's hard to find words to completely delineate this wonderful architectural accomplishment emerged from a small hunting pavillion of Louis XIII, whos successors continued to develop and embellish it up to incredible scope. Today's Palace lay across 63 154 square meters, contain 2300 rooms, more than 2000 windows, 1250 fireplaces and 67 staircases. Apart from the fact that virtually every room has its historical significance, the whole interior is ornately decorated with gilded details and filled with artwork. Such style can be seen as excessive and kitschy, but the idea of how much time, effort and prudence it took to create each and every detail was fascinating and enchanting to me, as well as the fact that the castle's filigree fashion generated unparalleled luxury whose splendor remains untarnished.
Hall of Mirrors
Perhaps the most famous room of the castle is Hall of Mirrors. Principal and remarkable feature of this 73 meters long chamber, which was used by Louis XIV for his daily walks from private apartment to castle's chapel, is seventeen arches connected with total of 357 mirrors that reflects seventeen arcaded windows that overlook the gardens. Arches themselves are fixed onto marble pillars with bronze capitals that highlights celebrated symbols of France – fleur-de-lys and Gallic cockerel. This impressive room served various purposes: from receiving embassies, birth and marriage festivities to costume balls. Hall of mirrors is flanked on the north and south side by War room and Peace room, dedicated to military victories and contributions in peace treaties. Walls of these halls are tasselled with marble panels with army trophies, weaponry and beautiful bas-reliefs that illustrates scenes from royal life.

Versailles


Versailles
One of more interesting art exhibits, situated in Little king's salon on the first floor of Versailles, is certainly the Passemant astronomical clock, an exeptional rococo work of over two meters high and crowned with moving celestial sphere. The clock, which set official time for the first time in royal history, indicates date, time and average phases of the moon with large dials that marks the rising and setting of the sun and moon every day. The mechanism is tuned in a way that allows it to display date until the end of year 9999. Of simmilar importance is a clock on the front Palace facade in the inner marble courtyard, surrounded by a triangle of statuary which surmounts the gilded balcony, whose hands were stopped at the time of Louis XIV's death.

Gardens of Versailles
All the magnificence and pageantry of castle's interior is followed by the Versailles gardens which westwardly encompasses 800 hectare surface and represents singular and perfect example of French garden style. Aside from the meticulously manicured lawns, flower parterres and alleys that emits symmetry and imposed order in nature, what makes these gardens truly unique are many sculptures and fountains, marvelous edifices that depicts numerous historical and mythological events and characters. In 1979., the gardens along with the castle, were inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage List. In the end, Versailles is one of those places, because of their pulchritude and fabulous charisma, to which I would like to return.
Have you visited Versailles? What are your impressions?

Versailles

No comments:

Post a Comment

Back to Top