New gold leafing highlights the extravagance on the exterior of Versailles : Versailles, FR
On the first full day in Paris, the goal and objective was Versailles. This palace (the French understatedly call it a chateau) was built by Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King (le Roi Soleil). XIV reigned from the age of five until his death just shy of his 77th birthday. To this day, he remains the longest reigning monarch in European history. As an aside, if Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland lives to 98 and remains on the throne until 2024, she'll break XIV's record as longest reigning monarch in Europe. But I digress and this entry really isn't about QEII or XIV. It's about his "chateau" at Versailles.
Just one example of the detail to be seen on the perimeter of the palace : Versailles, FR
According to the official website, Versailles started out as Louis XIII's hunting lodge. Upon ascending the throne, XIV began expanding the lodge into a palace and expansions continued under Louis XV and Louis XVI. Versailles became the seat of French government until 1789 and the return of the royal family to Paris at the beginning of the French Revolution.
Statuary, fountains, and palace : Versailles, FR
In addition to the exquisite interiors, Versailles includes vast gardens and fountains. The palace has been the scene of some significant events in the last three centuries, including a visit by child prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1763), official reception of American statesman Benjamin Franklin (1777), the establishment of the German Empire (1871) and the signing of the peace treaty by Germany at the end of World War I (1919), among other events.
To see more photos of the exterior of this "chateau", check out the slideshow below.
Photo copyright: Janet M Kincaid, 6/10