Five years have passed since I begun guiding at Versailles and it hasn’t lost any of its excitement. How is this possible when I go there several times every week? We are far from having ‘said it all’ about the Chateau & its grounds when we’ve spoken all about the grandeur of France and its Sun King, Louis XIV. Versailles is a powerful, ostentatious place but also the scene of incredible celebrations and historical dramas; both political and sentimental. Versailles is also a lot more than its chateau. With a vast estate of 850 hectares (2100 acres), Versailles is so big that numerous visitors decide to return to discover what is hiding at the other end of the park. In crossing the gardens and one part of the estate, we arrive at the Trianon, the private domain where Louis XIV, Louis XV and even Marie-Antoinette retired to a charming and intimate setting when they were looking to escape the watchful eye of the courtiers. Two small chateaux, gardens, a fairytale village and a farm; this is what awaits those curious enough to venture to the other end of the estate.
This spring at Versailles you will discoverthe Latone basin, entirely renovated with its golden fountains, as well as the Apollo Salon, the bedroom of Louis XVI and the throne room, where the carved decorations and painted ceiling have undergone over a year of restoration. Add to this the flower beds, different every year and the constant restoration of the gardens and chateau; Versailles goes back in time and re-finds the look that it had 300 years ago. That’s why after all this time in the chateau, gardens and Trianons of Versailles, I have as much pleasure in returning each time: Versailles deserves to be rediscovered.