Chateau du Versailles
photography & words by Amy Truong
“Dreams weigh nothing."
- Marie Antoinette
Less than an hour from the centre of Paris, Chateau du Versailles is at the heart of the town of Versailles. As you wander down from the town area into the palace grounds, the initial reaction is perhaps one that is underwhelming. A dirty, dusty road filled with tourist buses shroud the inner court grounds and large groups filled with selfie sticks and chatter echo. Approaching the gold leafed gates, it is easy to forget that this is all that is left of what was once a royal court that stretched for miles. Walking across the cobblestoned roads and passing through security into the actual palace grounds is easy enough and once inside, you are free to roam at your leisure.
The most common method around the palace is to start at the courts, through to the Hall of Mirrors, royal chambers then outer court chambers before reaching the breathtaking and expansive gardens. You can easily make a mistake by entering the wrong door and bypassing most of the palace all together but the French guards are kind enough to let you back in through the front if you do wander off in the wrong direction. As someone with a natural penchant for history, each corner of the palace is graced with beauty and grandeur reminiscent of classic French style. The restoration efforts of the French government are astounding and continue to today. Each door, tapestry and furnishing pieces is so lovingly put together in order to give each visitor a true, accurate experience of this historic site.
Wandering through the palace, it is hard to help but feel a sense of appreciation for what the site once was –the quiet empty corners void of any tourist interaction whisper memories of the people that once frequented this building so many hundreds of years ago. The legacy of Versailles and how it continues to be an influence to art, fashion and culture both in France and internationally can be seen from every facet of the space. Indeed, the palace is very much the emblematic notion of all things French style – iconic and enduring. Infamous yet glamourous, France’s most famous chateau is definitely a beautiful experience that all visitors to the city of love should see.