When France is mentioned, people tend to think of romantic Paris, Eiffel Tower, and food. However, charm of France is much greater. Today let's enter Palace of Versailles and uncover secrets of this building full of glorious history and cultural atmosphere.
The Palace of Versailles is located in city of Versailles, about 20 km southwest of Paris, France. It was palace of King Louis XIV of France. The palace was originally built in 17th century as a small hunting lodge and expanded several times by order of Louis XIV. The Palace of Versailles became main residence of French kings and witnessed apogee of French absolutist politics.
The architectural style of Palace of Versailles is unique, fully demonstrating charm of French Baroque architecture. The whole palace is splendid and luxuriously decorated, giving people a sense of luxury. The most famous of these is Hall of Mirrors, a grandiose hall about 73 meters long and 10 meters wide. There are 17 huge mirrors in hall, opposite 17 windows leading to garden, making whole space seem more open and bright. The Hall of Mirrors was once site of royal banquets and celebrations and has witnessed many important historical moments.
The Palace of Versailles is not only a building, but also a museum full of works of art. The palace houses a large art collection, including exquisite oil paintings, sculptures and furniture. In addition, Palace of Versailles also has a huge garden covering an area of about 800 hectares. The garden is planted with trees, flowers are in full bloom, and many fountains and sculptures are arranged in an orderly manner. It used to be a good place for recreation and entertainment of kings and members of royal family.
The Palace of Versailles witnessed not only glory of French history, but also beginning of French Revolution. When French Revolution broke out in 1789, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were forced to leave Palace of Versailles and flee to Paris to escape an angry mob. Since then, glorious era of Versailles has come to an end. However, despite vicissitudes of history, Versailles still retains its former glory.
The Palace of Versailles has become one of most important tourist attractions in France, attracting thousands of tourists every year. Here, visitors can experience prosperity and glory of French royal family in past. Walking through magnificent palaces and spacious gardens, it seems that you have been transported to that legendary era. The Palace of Versailles has also been inspiration for many works of literature, film and art, many of which tell stories of power, love and intrigue that take place in Versailles.
In Palace of Versailles we can see various contradictions and conflicts in French history. On one hand, luxury and splendor of palace demonstrated power and wealth of king, on other hand, such an extravagant lifestyle deepened discontent and anger of people. The outbreak of Great French Revolution also revealed huge contradictions in society of that time, on one hand.
A visit to Palace of Versailles allows us not only to appreciate charm of French architectural art, but also to gain a deeper understanding of French history and culture. This palace bears glory of past and has also witnessed historical changes. The Palace of Versailles is undoubtedly a part of French history that will forever remain in memory of people.
Here we invite you to take part in interaction again. Please answer following questions:
If you had chance to visit Palace of Versailles, which part would you most like to see?
What, in your opinion, is most attractive feature of Palace of Versailles?
In addition to Palace of Versailles, what other world famous historical buildings would you like to know?
Please leave a message in comments area to share your opinion, let's dive into this wonderful historical adventure together.
Finally, we reveal answers to yesterday's interactive session on Stonehenge:
How many years ago was Stonehenge built? Answer: D. 5000 years ago
Which of following legends is associated with Stonehenge? Answer: A. King Arthur and Merlin
Where does sun shine at sunrise on summer solstice? Answer: B. Stonehenge Center