So my favourite part about the Palace of Versailles is actually the gardens. Now as said before, statues are my favourite works of art and this place is filled with so many beautiful ones! Definitely worth visiting and spending a day out here finding them all!
One of the best things about the gardens is the water shows they put on. They play beautiful classical music as the fountains spray out in time to the music. This usually happens only like on weekends so time your visit well if you want to see it! Oh also a tip for travellers, if you’re under 26 and a European, you get free access to the gardens except on the days with the fountain displays.
A lot more statues to come! When you get a chance, go onto the profile page and hopefully everything should be arranged in a pretty order. Usually after each big reveal like earlier in the week, the profile is at its most artistic and you can appreciate the places I’ve been to better. At least that’s the plan!
As for statues here are a couple of fun facts. Within the gardens there are statues made of bronze, marble or lead and because there are over 200 of them, it can be considered as the largest open-air sculpture museum in the world!
The very first sculptures commissioned are believed to have celebrated love and gallantry and would have gone through a rough process of being designed by the King, the Administrator, the Architect, a Painter, a Gardener, Sculptors and Fountain Engineers.
Then from the 1600s the gardens played host to many grand celebrations such as the Delights of the Enchanted Island in 1664 and the Great Royal Entertainment in 1668. Unfortunately the first sculptures made in stone in 1664 around the Grand Rondeau Fountain are now lost, but they would have contained fauns, dancers and nymphs in a burlesque amorous mood – representing the wishes of the King at the time and the pompous requirements of extravagant parties!
So with the statues in the garden, a lot of them are based off old Roman and Greek myths, so if you’re also a classics fan like me you can go and appreciate it all even more. They are all also beautifully crafted so definitely worth going out to see it all.
One of the really nice features about the gardens is the tall hedges and maze effect you see everywhere. It allows you to get lost within an artfully crafted nature, and if you walk around without looking at the maps you can end up discovering really beautiful places. Therefore I suggest, don’t use a map and just walk around everywhere!
If you don’t like walking around though, you can actually hire out carts to drive around. Personally I prefer to walk, but well, to each their own!
So one of the really nice things about these gardens and I consider it one of my favourite places to go, is that at the far end, far away from the palace and all the way down the path, you have this lake. And what makes this lake special is that you can actually hire out row boats and pedalos to go out and have a bit of fun. Makes a summery day even better
Another statue. Actually there are so many to find…..
Hmmmm… what do people think of all these statues?
Another place worth visiting in Versailles is the estate of Trianon where Marie-Antoinette would sought refuge and recluse. Anyway this is probably a favourite fountain of mine. It is called Latona’s fountain and actually takes its inspiration one of Ovide’s stories – The Metamorphoses. It illustrates how the mother of Apollo and Diana, Latona, is pleading to Jupiter to avenge her children who were being insulted by the peasants of Lycia. Subsequently those peasants are turned into frogs and lizards as Jupiter obliges her.
Can you feel it? That sliver of cold running down your back side, that freezing and ghostly wind brushing over your arms making each of your hairs stand on end, that oddly cold bead of sweat now running down across your forehead as you slowly become entranced into this post? Can you see him? Hidden in the hedgerows with a pockmarked face, almost suggestive of the small pox? Does his disease scare you? Frighten you? Or perhaps instead do you see her, sketching into nothing as the sounds of scritch-scratching slowly begin to assault your ears, getting louder and louder and Louder. Itching. Right at the back of your head. Getting worse, more noticeable, unable to be stopped. Can you feel it? As these ghostly apparitions, dressed in old-fashioned outfits, come out at you and then disappear as if you never even saw them. Are they real, or fake? Or are you too terrified to know the truth?
That sense of dread. That terrible feeling. Two girls, Anne Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain experienced just that in 1901 as they visited the Palace of Versailles and neared the grounds of the Petit Trianon. It was said that when these two girls compared notes of their trip, they realised they had walked trails and seen buildings that existed only during Marie Antoinette’s time… leading them to believe that the woman they saw sketching was Marie herself… Creepy. Do you believe in ghosts?
So what did you think of this weeks collection of stories and musings? Any thoughts of your own? Comment down below, and thank you for reading. For daily stories and pictures make sure to follow the Instagram.
Editor: Leonardo Buter
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