the decadence of versailles...

2009-06-26 – Friday – 12:45:16
a hall of mirrors

I'm back in Australia now and still out of sync. The lag on the way back is much worse! But, back to the story...

Out through the city, past the Statue of Liberty's smaller sister and along the river Seine to Versailles. The palace is another sight of unprecedented scale and detail, just like everything in Paris! It's not possible to take a photo that shows the true scale, but saying that it's 400 metres wide with 700 rooms should give you an idea of the vastness and decadence of the building.

golden radiosity

At the back of the palace and past the vast ponds on the terrace, gardens roll down the hill in a green corridor to mirrored lake, ending 3 kilometres in the distance. In every direction the bronze statues, each of unique design, overlook fountains, pools, manicured shrubs and lawns.

parterre

The vast hedges and quadrangles hide yet more statues of bronze, white marble or gilded lead, representing the stories of Gods or mythologies.

oxide

It's so huge that it took an hour in an electric cart to make our way from one end and back, and that was only with a cursory look. The entirely separate "sub buildings" are equally impressive and elaborate and the artistry of the gardens and castings really is awe-inspiring, even if it was all for the sake of kings' egos.