Palace of Versailles
No visit to Paris is complete without a visit to the Palace of Versailles. It began as a hunting lodge, then grew into a magnificent palace. Now it is as much a museum to the art and splendour of the French aristocracy.
When you leave the parking lot you are greeted by polite young men (on the right) working hard to sell you souvenirs of Paris. On the left is the line up to enter and buy tickets. Fortunately out tour has prearranged tickets and a tour guide for a specific time. We still have to follow the line through the security check at the gate. Fortunately the rain has stopped and the skies have cleared.
The amount of gold, leaf or paint, is impressive and the ongoing maintenance require to keep this show piece in excellent condition is soon appreciated.
The main buildings in front of the palace, which is at the back, are the horse stables, administration buildings, staff lodging and kitchens. From the outside, it is difficult to tell which is which. The horses were treated well.
A wide angled lens is useful to capture the wide eyed views in the Palace.
Not all of the art is hanging on the walls.
The most spectacular room is the hall of mirrors which stretches along the back of the palace and overlooks the symmetrically planned gardens. The following two pictures are taken from the center of the hall, one looking in each direction.
At night the mirrors would not only help brighten the room, but the candles lighting the room would reflect out into the garden.