Travelogues

Parisian Sojourn-6

Enchanting Paris

Versailles is called the envy of Europe for its opulent and imposing structure. It was the abode of some of the leaders of France who were responsible in shaping its destiny. It is called the Chateau of Versailles. Some years back, it was a sleepy non descript suburb of Paris but now it throbs with tourists through out the day. It takes about an hour from Paris to reach Versailles. There was a church and a castle which was ruled by a local chieftain. During the Black plague and 100 years War Versailles was famished and people lost their lives .
Strangely a Florentine Albert Gondi came to France with Catherine de Medici and bought the Seigneury of Versailles. They threw their weight around in the French parliament in the early 17th century. King Louis the 13th went on a hunting expedition to Versailles which resembled a forest. The king then decided to build a castle in Versailles.

Louis the 14th wanted all his men to remain close to him so that they would not rebel against him. Slowly Versailles became an architectural edifice and an epitome of opulence and lavish life style. The rulers were bent upon expanding decorating and beautifying the palace to make it an important land mark of France. Rooms were built to accommodate 600 guests at a time. Its gigantic facade defies description. We can have a view of Versailles from a distant place. I was spell bound to see the massive dome silhouetted against the azure skyline which looked as is it was beckoning the tourist to have a close view of it. The rooms captured the extravagant life style of the French Kings . The alluring bed chambers and the thrones are exquisitely decorated but I found Red color was commonly used in paintings and upholstery. The rulers had to spend their fortune maintaining Versailles.

Louis the 15th predicted the doom of the dynasty and he said- Apr?s moi le deluge which means after me it is deluge. Queen Marie Antoinette led a Bohemian life style and squandered the wealth . The crowning piece of the Chateau is the Galarie des Glaces-hall of mirrors. The colossal hall is a store house of mirrors with its chandeliers and huge glasses which dazzles in any part of the day. Its iridescent lights cast magic spell on me.. This place is of historical importance as The Treaty of Versailles which ended the world war -1 was signed here. It took nearly a day to admire and appreciate the Ch?teau of Versailles where modern living does not hamper the heritage and history. My Parisian sojourn coming to an end I gathered myself to leave Paris which was my Dream destination.

 Concluded

Usha Raja

 

Jun 26, 2011
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