Versailles | Travel Diary


A panoramic view of Versailles, featuring me, doing text-y things on the right.
First thing's first, my obsession with Marie Antoinette is the realest. I've written about her for several publications, and also would like to think that she and I would be best friends if I had lived in 18th-century France, and just so happened to be born into noble society and not the other 99% of suffering civilians.
   The Dauphine of France’s life was not solely decadent and lavish, as many scenes from Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film portray, but Marie spent many years inside Versailles living unhappy and unloved.
   And we know what happens when adolescents go without attention. Anything, no matter how absurd, insane, or ridiculous it might sound, could be used as a mechanism to gain the limelight we believe we deserve. Antoinette was a prima-donna, and she needed it all. I said above that her life was not solely decadent and lavish, but solely is a key word. Her life was mostly decadent and lavish.
   Only a few years before Louis XVI took the throne, Louis XIV had Versailles built exclusively to escape dirty Paris and the grimy population that inhabited it. The palace, which could house 10,000 people at any given time, is the epitome of baroque. With gardens just as impressive as the palace itself, and a house that Marie could escape to when she did not want to confront her demons, Antoinette materially had it all.

The Queen's Chambers in Versailles
She was spoiled rotten. And the people hated her for it.*Anyways, I'll save the history lesson for your schools.*
   "Unimpressive," I scoffed as I walked up from the town of Versailles to the actual chateau. I'm the queen of sarcasm, and while it was cliche, this did highlight my sarcastic nature. People say no estate in all of France rivals Versailles. Nothing in all of Europe. I'd say that no palace in the entire world rivals Versailles, and just looking at a picture of the ornate residence of the late 17th-18th century French Bourbons will probably convince you that I'm right.
   My mom always said that we should start in the gardens, and then go to the palace, to escape the tourists. The sprawling gardens behind the chateau are nearly as impressive as the physical building itself, and seem to have no end in sight.


In the spring and summer seasons, you can find a myriad of Greek-themed statues of different mythological figures scattered throughout the Louis' backyard (*cues a "Yo MTV, and welcome to my crib," from a Louis XVI clad Jason Schwartzman*) in the winter, you can still see these statuaries, but draped in tarps as Louis XIV would've been draped in silk and gold.

This image has got me feeling a Kanye type of way...
My family had one objective and almost one objective only in the gardens: find Petite Trianon and visit Petit Trianon. 
   When I entered Petit Trianon, I felt as if I was returning home. Probably, because as I said before, I either would've been best friends with Marie Antoinette, or maybe even was her in a previous life. Who knows. One thing I noticed about the small residence — small in terms of comparing to Versailles itself — is how far Marie would've had to have journeyed to get there. Good for her. She came to the residence when she wanted to escape the suffocating court, her boring husband, or any other duty she did not want to attend to. Can I get a woot woot? This girl is my hero. 

Blank Space music video or Petite Trianon? The world may never know.
After a sufficient amount of time of basking in my eternal girl crush's escape, we made the trek back to Versailles. 
   It took me about three seconds of being inside the regal home to realize that the word baroque was probably thought of only to accommodate the standard that Versailles had raised. No wonder the French people needed to start a Revolution — every single effing penny France had went into making that bitch. The grandness of it all was dizzying. I loved every second of it. 

Notable sites within the palace: Hall of Mirrors, King's Chamber, Queens Chamber 

Where Marie Antoinette would've selfied

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