Okay, wow, now that is impressive. I have recently read a book on Windsor Castle and was not that impressed. But Versailles? Oh, my.
In Windsor Castle’s defense, it is almost six hundred years older than Versailles and started out as a military fortification, where Versailles started out as a hunting lodge but turned into a château (literally smell of cat) for entertaining, holding court, and then living for the seventeenth century French monarchs, built and expanded at the height of the French monarchies, republics, and empires.
The book has a blueprint for each floor of the main building followed by a description of each room as you would take a walking tour and a lot of large, lavish pictures. Even if they were small, the pictures could be nothing but lavish. The rooms are large, with high ceilings (modern homes have great rooms with high ceilings as a selling feature; in Versailles, all rooms are great rooms). They have great original works hanging above the giant doors, not to mention on select walls and with painted ceilings.
You know, normally I see something like this and say, that must be hell to heat, but the book mentions that the temperature at Versailles rarely gets down to freezing–they have orange and palm trees that they bring out in the spring for the gardens.
Oh, and the gardens–the book also includes walking tours of the vast gardens behind Versailles and Trianon, the “little” getaway cottage(s) that are within walking distance of Versailles.
When my beautiful wife say this book on my desk prior to my writing this report, she asked if that was the place I didn’t have to go since I’ve seen the book (that, remember, is Marseille.).
Versailles, though: I wouldn’t mind seeing that.