Category Archives: French history

A summer stroll in the gardens of Versailles

A summer stroll in the gardens of Versailles

Versailles. Gold. So much gold. And carp. Voracious carp, intent on sharing your picnic lunch as you sit by the Grand Canal.   These are my memories of Versailles the magical place I visited as a child with my family and Parisian relatives.   As I recall, I was not that fascinated with the grandiose castle, the…

26 Responses to A summer stroll in the gardens of Versailles

  1. Good move, Veronique. I avoid the castle too. 🙂 I visited once and that was enough for me. I do however go the King’s Kitchen Garden often. It’s beautiful and it helps me figure out to train my espalier fruit trees at home.

    And thank you so much for pointing out that the city is worth visiting. It’s a real pity that people don’t get away from the castle and visit the city more. I’ve called Versailles home for the past 6 years or so and there is so much to see beyond that gaudy monstrosity at the end of the avenue de Paris. It’s a walkable city, the market in the center of town is great, it has good restaurants, lots of history everywhere you go and things to see like the domaine de Madame Elisabeth, the equestrian show at the old stables, great concerts at some of the magnificent churches here, and so much more. Am I in love with my city? Absolutely. 🙂

    • Merci for the feedback on the charming city of Versailles, Victoria. I am so happy I left the château mid-afternoon. I had plenty of time to walk around and explore before I hopped back on the train. The King’s kitchen garden is lovely, you’re right. Espalier fruit trees… I am impressed! I am happy to water a handful of containers here at home in the summer 🙂

  2. Je crois que la dernière fois que j’y suis allée, c’etait il y a 15 ans! Pas d’internet pour les billets alors, mais le choix entre le chateau et le parc, et j’ai moi aussi choisi le parc , pour fuir la foule.J’en garde un merveilleux souvenir .Sérénité, beauté, volupté!
    Par contre devant l’entrée, il y avait un nombre incroyable de marchands ambulants vendant toutes sortes de cochonneries, ça m’avait choquée, J’espère qu’ils sont partis.
    C’est bien de pouvoir louer, mais il ne faudrait pas que les lieux y perdent leur âme, oui, que certains aillent sur Mars avec un aller simple.. :o)
    Bonne semaine et gros bisous !

    • Ah, tu vois bien que les grands esprits se rencontrent! 🙂

      L’intérieur est un peu trop “doré” à mon goût, et le style de la déco, pas vraiment minimaliste, n’est-ce-pas? Moi, si j’avais vécu à la cour, j’aurais passé beaucoup de temps dans le parc. J’imagine qu’en plus, on devait mieux y respirer qu’à l’intérieur… Ca cocotait sérieux dans le château, dit-on… 🙂

  3. Marie Antoinette’s Domain is almost my backyard right now! I love it there so much and always try and persuade our guests to visit that part of the estate.Your photos bring back happy summer memories for me too. And that Dior commercial is just gorgeous. It’s on TV here all the time at the moment. J’adore Dior – wish I could afford Dior 😉

  4. Our first trip to Paris – in March, now many years ago – we found ourselves experiencing snow and cold. Our trip to Versailles will always be memorable because we found it too cold to visit the grounds, but loved the cross-country skiers looping through the grounds.

  5. I think you had the right idea, Veronique. What a crowd in the hall of mirrors! Did you know that it is the 400th anniversary of Le Notre? What would the world be like with out him? There is a special exhibit at Versailles right now that I plan to visit in January – but I think I might prefer your warm sunny day to wander the grounds! XO

    • Bonjour Jeanne. Oui, I heard about Le Notre and read several articles about him online and in Paris over the summer. That is why I did not mention him here. I thought the carp was equally important 🙂 I envy you your upcoming trip. You will have a fabulous time!

  6. v- as ALWAYS you make the dream of paris and it’s surrounding attractions so real-as if I am experiencing it at that moment-you would make an EXCELLENT travel writer-as always again, the pictures are BEAUTIFUL-my memory of my one trip there is hazey…. fuzzy at best-I remember the august sun -thanks for bringing the desire to get there as an adult to the surface-officially on the to do list-have a nice rest of the week- cold with snow here-

    • Merci, dear g. It sounds as if you are long overdue for a “comeback” in Versailles, if “fuzzy” is all you can remember 🙂

      It’s been cold here too, and sunny, how nice, but the dreadful rain is returning this week. I have not missed it in the least. A bientôt. Hugs to you!

  7. I actually prefer the architecture of la maison du jardinier et le moulin to that of the palace, I don’t know what that says about me, mais, voilà…It must have been so wonderful to be there & to reminisce about your good times in childhood…and to see the children there now. I have a friend who loved the gardens so much that he never got to the palace. I’ve not yet been to Versailles since it is not my style, but after reading your post I think I will go on my next trip & enjoy the gardens & a picnic. You seem like you’d be a good match to work for/with Rick Steeves…Merci, Rita

    • Merci beaucoup Rita. I would not mind collaborating with Rick Steves in one capacity or another, to tell you the truth 🙂 We share the same clients (He organizes their trips to Europe; I teach them basic French survival skills before they head to my homeland 🙂

      I did have an excellent day in Versailles this summer. It was certainly worth taking the long train ride both ways. Souvenirs are priceless, as you know. A bientôt.

  8. Versailles is one of those places that I can visit time and time again and yet I always find something new to admire. The interior certainly makes your jaw drop with the extravagance and of course all that gold!! I agree that the gardens are breathtakingly beautiful too and yet so many people spend so little time exploring them. Unfortunately the last time I arrived at Versailles, there was a small note on the gates to announce that it was closed due to a strike!! At least it wasn’t my first visit or I would have been even more disappointed.
    PS By the way, I do hope that the comment I wrote in French on your last post was OK!
    http://missbbobochic.blogspot.co.uk/

    • Bonjour miss b. Ha. Love your story about the strike at Versailles! I feel I have to apologize for my countrymen. But that is why they staged a revolution, after all. I don’t suppose Louis XIV and all his descendants actually *authorized* strikes, do you? 🙂

      I did notice your comment in [excellent] French on the last post. Félicitations, and feel free to switch to le français any time you visit.

  9. BONJOUR VÉRO!

    Oh là là, comme j’adore Versailles….ça fait 12 ans que j’y suis allée. Les jardins, quelles merveilles….la façon dont les jardiniers “sculptent” les formes! Je me demandais comment les formes sont si parfaites! Voilà….oh, les français, vous êtes tous artistes!

    Ma chère, merci d’être venue me lire…et oui, ces photos de la nature, surtout celles des oursons me plaîsent car cette année, je veux la paix dans mon jardin, mon coeur, dans le monde.

    GROSSES BISES! Anita

    • Bonjour Anita. 12 ans… Tu dois y retourner bientôt. Le Hameau de Marie-Antoinette n’avait pas encore été rénové à l’époque. Je ne sais pas si tous les Français sont des artistes, mais les jeunes jardiniers de Versailles, eux, certainement 🙂

      Encore bravo pour ton dernier billet. Un festival pour les yeux (et les oreilles!)

      Bisous

  10. Le pavillon de la Lanterne, relais de chasse situé au fond du parc de Versailles, résidence de loisir des présidents de la république…ne se visite pas.

    • Merci Alain. Excellente information. Un horrible doute toutefois: Et si le couple “bling-bling” KW et KK écrivaient un *gros* chèque et louaient le-dit relais de chasse pour leurs noces ? L’horreur absolue. D’un autre côté, gros plus: Ils seraient bien cachés au fond du parc. 🙂 Merci de votre visite et à bientôt.

  11. I also returend to Versailles again this summer. During summer weeks, I would recommend to go there later in the evening, after the official closing time. You can then visit the castle in small groups, listen to music and watch dancing in the different galleries and rooms. Then you can visit the gardens, the water show, the fireworks… You can also attend fabulous concerts at the Royal Chapel or the Royal Opera… I actually wrote about it here: http://www.peter-pho2.com/search/label/Versailles

    • I remember that wonderful post, Peter. I think you went just a few days after I did 🙂

      Excellent advice, all of it. That would be a great way of avoiding the big day-time crowds since a lot of people travel from Paris for the day and tend to leave Versailles (as I did) late afternoon.

      A bientôt. Enjoy the Holiday season in Paris!

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