For our last day in Paris, I booked us a private tour in Versailles via Localers.com once again! I was super excited but our tour didn’t start until 1pm so we had time to go around.
And then we passed by Champs Élysées, famous for arguably being the most beautiful avenue in the world. It’s lined with luxury shops and restaurants.
Parang kailangan ko ng ibang lipstick
Then we met our tour guide Jonathan and we took a train to Versailles!! It was about 20 minutes away.
All the gold you see is ACTUAL gold that been hammered out and turned into what’s called “gold leaf”
He ruled as the king of France from 1643 until 72 years and 110 days later when he passed away. He was 5 years old when he reigned and died just days before his 77th birthday. He surpassed his sons, grandsons and was followed by his five-year-old great-grandson, Louis XV. Ang babata, noh? Nakaka King Tommen Baratheon.
He’s the guy responsible behind the big wigs worn by men in France. He was 17 when his hair started thinning out and he wanted to hide it. Whatever the King did, people followed so it became the trend.
The cost of wigs increased, and perukes became a scheme for flaunting wealth. An everyday wig cost about 25 shillings—a week’s pay for a common Londoner. The bill for large, elaborate perukes ballooned to as high as 800 shillings. The word “bigwig” was coined to describe snobs who could afford big, poufy perukes. (via MentalFloss)
The Hall of Mirrors was literally just a hallway for people to cross the palace. But it’s not just any hallway. Picture beautiful arched windows overlooking the majestic gardens and on the other side of the hall are similar arches full of mirrors to reflect the scenery.
As soon as Jonathan told me, “many kings and queens have looked upon these mirrors,” I had to take a photo of myself
Then we entered the King’s bedroom, built in 1701. This is where Louis XIV lived until he died in 1715. It’s where the Royal Rising and Retiring ceremonies took place.
Every morning at 8AM, the king’s valet would wake him. The chief physician, the chief surgeon and Louis XIV’s childhood nurse (a.k.a. yaya) would enter together and his yaya would kiss him good morning. The night chamberpot, full of his piss and God knows what else, would be checked by the physician (“ah, brown poop! Good!”) before being removed from the room. At 8:30, the privileged people (mostly nobles) would enter the room and watch the ceremony. The grand chamberlain would present him with holy water, the servants would take off his nightshirt and present him with his day shirt. This is the moment the nobles could give the king their requests but in as few words as possible. The king would be given a liturgical book and a brief prayer would be said. This happens. Every. Morning. You can read more about the ceremonies online if you’re interested. Here’s a link to a day in the life of Louis XIV from the official Palace of Versailles website.
Then we visited the Queen’s Chamber, and I totally got emotional.
This is where Marie Antoinette and many other queens gave birth for the public to see.
When the palace was invaded by the rioters on 6 October 1789, Marie-Antoinette managed to escape from them through the little door on the left of the alcove, giving onto a corridor which gave access to the Queen’s internal apartments, a dozen small rooms reserved for her private life and her servants. (Via Chateau Versailles)
The Antechamber of The Grand Couvert
It was in the Queen’s antechamber that the public meals were held, whose sumptuous ritual attracted a large crowd. Only the royal family could take their places at the table and before them, seated, the duchesses, princesses or high-ranking persons who had the privilege to sit on a stool, then, standing, the other ladies and persons who, due to their rank or with the authorisation of the usher, had been allowed to enter. Louis XIV subjected himself to this performance almost every evening; Louis XV often preferred intimate suppers; as for Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, a testimony from that time reports that: “The Queen sat on the King’s left. They had their backs turned to the fireplace […] The King ate with a good appetite, but the Queen did not remove her gloves and did not use her serviette, which was very wrong of her”. To counter this boredom, Marie-Antoinette asked for there always to be music in the Grand Couvert and for that purpose a platform was set up for the musicians in this room. (Via Chateau Versailles)
When we found out that there was a branch of Angelina’s in the palace, we were pretty surprised. Obviously it’s expensive to maintain the palace and even with the millions of tourists that visit the place yearly, it only covers about 40% of the costs. That’s why they have to allow commercial tenants. I think there are only two shops in there?
Now it was time for a tour of Les Jardins Musicaux (The Musical Gardens). My heart!!!
I changed from my booties to flats. I predicted my feet would get tired from all the walking so I brought a pair with me and a tote to carry my heels. Thank you, Jim, for carrying the tote ❤️
There are a total of 15 groves in the garden and for some of them, classical music was being played to set the mood
I learned that temporary exhibitions of contemporary art have been held at Versailles for years already. I wasn’t aware that famous contemporary artist Jeff “King of Kitsch” Koons started it back in 2008 when his work was displayed inside Versailles. Our tour guide told us that he believes that the higher ups had connections with these up-and-coming artists and displaying their work at Versailles would make them a lot of money.
The exhibition we chanced upon was the controversial works by Anish Kapoor.
But I’ll dive more into that later.
Up next: the best exhibit in the world.
It was such a beautiful day
More by Anish Kapoor. Most of his works feature holes, interpreted by many as a yonic (as opposed to phallic) symbol. The most controversial one (which I failed to take a photo of), Dirty Corner, has been dubbed “The Queen’s Vagina” by the press.
BTW, my flats were the worst choice for the garden. They’re not completely closed so the pebbles kept going inside. Just FYI if you plan on going — wear sneakers! It slowed us down a bit but we had loads of fun anyway.
The Mirror Fountain was magical!!! The fountains danced along to Jean-Baptise Lully and Marc-Antoine Charpentier. This happens every 10 minutes from 10am to 6:30pm.
Took more fun photos before ending the tour
You can barely make out Kapoor’s Dirty Corner in that last photo but it’s there behind the fountain. We weren’t able to visit Marie Antoinette’s Estate because that would take another day’s tour and separate tickets according to Jonathan.
It was really a day to remember, I’m SO happy I booked the tour. We went back home to rest before heading out again to a famous cool live music spot in Paris, Point Éphémère.
I researched it back in Manila — oh the wonders of the Internet. We got tickets to watch indie local band Great Mountain Fire. We had sandwiches and a couple of beers while waiting.
And then the band started and we watched and danced the night away. Click here to listen to their music. Super fun!
Good night ?