Friday, July 06, 2018

It's good to be the king

Last month, our visiting friend Sue and I drove up to the Château de Versailles outside of Paris. I hadn't been inside the château since 1981, and Sue's last visit was in 1975. Because of train strikes this spring, we decided to combine a visit to the château with getting Sue to Paris for her flight back to California the next day. I'll save the details of that adventure for a later post. We left our house at about seven in the morning and got to the parking lot at Versailles by 09h30. There was some morning rush-hour traffic to slog through as we got closer to Paris, but we still made good time over all.

Standing in the Cour d'Honneur looking toward the center of the château. You can see, on the right, that the exterior of the chapel is under renovation. The screen that hides the scaffolding is decorated with a view of the chapel interior. It's a eye-catching effect.

I didn't want to waste time looking for parking and walking a long way, so I planned to park in the main Place des Armes lot right in front of the château entrance and to pay whatever price they charged for the convenience. I found the lot with no trouble at all. There were something like 406 of 550 spots available, so no worries. We parked, had a little snack in the car, and then headed through the gate into the Cour d'Honneur toward the building entrance. I bought our tickets on the internet to save time, and the line for ticket-holders was not at all long. We were inside and through security pretty quickly.

A closer view. Ticket holders enter on the left, under the "A." The gilded roofs, windows, and gates were quite impressive.

Sue and I picked up a couple of maps and oriented ourselves. We also had to find the rest rooms. First things first! With that done, we began our visit. We exited the south wing (on the left in these photos) to cross the Cour Royale (The Royal Courtyard), passed the Cour de Marbre (The Marble Courtyard), and re-entered the building on the north side for a self-guided tour of a selection of rooms and galleries.

Standing in the Cour Royale, looking toward the Cour de Marbre (up a few steps) and the château's historic ceremonial entrance. So many people were taking selfies with their phones and we saw a lot of people using "selfie sticks" which are not permitted inside.


  1. Yes, sometimes paying a bomb for parking makes things just so convenient.

  2. I am fascinated by French history. I recently finished a splendid course covering 1770-1812. I just concluded the "Commune of Paris" after the Franco-Prussian war (that didn't go well. Yes it is good to be King.
    By the way - I am very grateful for your recommendation to find a ships clock app. My phone now chimes every 30 minutes. When it does I think of you - so you are remembered often. :-)

  3. Oh, I'm going to enjoy this series of photos about Versailles, I can already tell. Normally, I have no interest in Versailles-- too fussy, too busy, too crowded. I went once, back in 1981, with a group of people from Spain. I didn't understand anything, but that didn't matter LOL. But, I think I will appreciate it from your perspective... especially without crowds!

    1. And, p.s., your title made me chuckle (as they so often do).

  4. These photos are wonderful! But, it's a better to be Queen.

  5. Beautiful photos! Yes, we should all be kings and queens.

  6. andrew, not something I'd do every day, but once in a while it's worth it.

    michael, I'm glad it's something that exists!

    judy, the crowds are difficult, especially inside the building. And they had gotten bigger as we were leaving. Ugh! But there's no real alternative for us mere mortals.

    mitch, hehe...

    evelyn, I'm not sure I'd look very good in powdered wig. ;)


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