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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Paris - Day 5

A trip back in time, today we set off for a half day tour of Versailles. From the moment you walk up to the Gold entrance gate and peer into the courtyard beyond you can sense what life must have been like for inhabitants of Versailles during the reign of Louis XIV.

Versailles has a history dating back as far as A.D. 1038. In 1561, Martial de Loménie, secretary of state for finances under King Charles IX, became lord of Versailles. When Loménie was murdered in 1517 during the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, Albert de Gondi, a man from Florence who had come to France along with Catherine de' Medici, bought the seigneur of Versailles.

Versailles remained in the Gondi family who were wealthy and influential parliamentarians at the Parliament of Paris. King Louis XIII was invited by the Gondi’s many times throughout the 1610s to hunt in the large forests of Versailles. After acquiring a piece of woodland in Versailles (1622) for his personal hunting, the King decided to have a small “gentlemen’s Chateau” built (1624).

After obtaining seigneur of Versailles from the Gondi family in 1632, enlargement of the castle commenced, lasting until 1634. Versailles had a population of 1,000 inhabitants, at King Louis XIII death in 1643.

Today, when Versailles is mentioned, often the first persons who pop into one’s mind are Marie Antoinette and Louis XIV, for their opulent living at Versailles and the tragic manner in which they died.

We only spent ½ day at Versailles, I would recommend a full day – as there were many parts of the grounds we did not have the time to explore. Although the crowds were less (as told to us by security staff) during our visit in late April, the flowers were not yet blooming in the gardens.

After our morning in Versailles we stopped for some lunch and much needed rest, before our visit to the Eiffel Tower. The views of Paris from the top of the tower are just breath taking.

Tomorrow's post is of our final day in Paris - Notre Dame Catheral and a special picture of a celebrity in Paris!


  1. I love going out to Versailles, and I love Marie Antionette! She is one of the most misunderstood characters in history!

    So sorry tomorrow is your last day in Paris... I've enjoyed the journey.

  2. It sounds like Paris was absolutely amazing. So much history in Europe ... we just don't have anything that comes close here in Canada.

    Thanks so much for your comment on my last post ... it's such a compliment for someone to be inspired by something I say. Thank you. It means more than you know ...

  3. Wow. Loving your photos. Looks like your trip has been wonderful!

  4. Versailles is amazing, isn't it? We've been there twice, and love it! We were in Paris in early May, too! Such a gorgeous time to visit:)

  5. I love Versailles. I don't think i ever visited enough of it!
    I think i appreciate it better now that i can't go there whenever i want to :)
    Thank you for linking up, for your support and all your sweet and loving comments. I value your friendship. Big hugs.

  6. What a fun trip you are having! I visited Paris as a young girl of 12 and remember after touring Versailles that this was the place for me! I'd love to visit again someday! Thanks for sharing!
    --Lee Ann


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