Take a walk with me inside the opulent grandeur of Luis XIV’s showcase
We approach the palace, or chateau, from the municipality of Versailles.
An equestrian statue of Louis XIV greets the tourists at the first gate:
This is the line for those of us who had purchased timed tickets ahead of time.
Long enough, but not nearly as long as the line for those who arrived without timed tickets:
Some of the glories on view before security and ticket control:
Let’s get through security and all and start the tour proper, shall we?
The courtyard behind the main gate.
First look inside:
Not allowed inside the chapel, so we grab our views best we can:
We enter the Hercules Room:
Hercules ascending to heaven. This ceiling painting took a year to complete.
Next, the Salon of Abundance, perhaps ironically named, as it is one of the smaller rooms, if not necessarily modest.
The Salon of Venus is dedicated to the betrothal of Louis XIV and his queen. A matinee idol statue of the young Louis is the room’s centerpiece.
I seriously doubt Louis really ever was this dashing in life.
An older Louis in the Salon of Diane:
The Mars Room.
Next door, the Apollo Room:
Which I believe was Louis XIV’s bedchamber, or one of his bedchambers (there’s a bed in the King’s Room too).
Louis called himself the Sun King, and liked to be compared to Apollo, the Sun God, painted here on the ceiling.
In case things haven’t been extravagantly bombastic enough for you…
The War Room:
King Louis XIV vanquishing his enemies…
So much golden gilding…
I couldn’t help myself. I had to think of that moment in the movie Cabaret where Joel Grey is whispering “money” creepily and seductively. But my pose is more goofy than his was.
The War Room is a mere antechamber to the celebrated Hall of Mirrors. I have already posted a piece all about that marvelous throughway; check it out here.
From the Hall of Mirrors, one is led through the Council Room to the King’s Chamber and the Bull’s Eye Room (named for its oval windows), where courtiers waited to be admitted into the King’s bedroom.
This poor fellow is still waiting to be admitted into King Louis XIV’s chambers.
Perhaps someone should tell him … ?
Finally you exit this section of the chateau via this magnificent staircase.
That takes us out of the main royal apartments and back into the courtyard.
But from there there are still plenty more hallways and apartments and stairways to admire in the Chateau:
Inside the Apartment of Mme Victoire, favored nobility:
Portraits installed within facing mirrors:
Some more sensual statues to add to the collection…
In the Battles Gallery:
Portrait of Lafayette, of US Revolutionary War fame:
And of course there’s a gift shop, where you may acquire this Louis XIV bust for a mere 4950 Euros.