Articles, Blog

Versailles, France: Palace Gardens and Little Hamlet

November 18, 2019


One more way that Louis proved
he was a divine-right ruler was by controlling
nature, like a god. These lavish grounds,
elaborately planned, pruned, and ornamented,
showed everyone that their king was
in total command. Only the Sun King
could grow orange trees here in chilly Northern France. And Louis XIV,
he had a thousand. Fountains —
another great way for a king to illustrate
his power over nature — were a huge attraction, a marvel of both art
and engineering. The king’s engineers
literally rerouted a river to power these. While the fountains ran for
Louis whenever he liked, they run for tourists
only on weekends. The Apollo Basin
shows the Sun God, aka Louis, in his chariot as he starts his daily
journey across the sky. The emerging horses give
the impression of the sun rising out of the mists
of dawn. The palace’s backyard
is huge, and if you turn around,
it seems to stretch forever. Versailles was laid out
along an eight-mile axis. You could get lost
exploring it — golf carts and rental bikes
make that a fun option or just enjoy a lazy paddle
on the Grand Canal. Versailles began
as a country escape, but the Chateau soon became
as busy as Paris itself, so Louis, needing an escape
from his escape, built this smaller palace buried
deep in his vast backyard. The delicate Grand Trianon was
the king’s private residence, far from the main palace. It provided an
ideal refuge, away from the sniping
politics, strict etiquette, and 24/7 scrutiny
of official court life. With ever more power and wealth, France’s ruling elite became
dangerously out of touch and detached from the grinding
reality of its peoples’ lives. Later, French royals
retreated still farther from the main Chateau and the realities
of French political life, ignoring rising
revolutionary sentiments that were turning their
society into a tinderbox. And deep in the garden, you
find this bizarre sight — Marie Antoinette’s little
peasant hamlet. She longed for the simple
life of a peasant — not the hard labor
of real peasants, who sweated and starved
all around her — but a fairy-tale world of simple country
pleasures, so she built
this rustic fantasy. The little hamlet was
an actual working farm, with a dairy,
a water mill, and domestic animals. This is where the queen
tended her perfumed sheep and manicured gardens, until that day
the Revolution arrived and her hungry peasantry
stormed the palace, marched her and the king
back into Paris, and eventually
cut off their heads.

4 Comments

  • Reply I cup July 18, 2017 at 8:39 am

    hungry peasants

  • Reply koza& && April 5, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    I Love versailles

  • Reply Sharon Lynn September 28, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    There is the big hint, Sun King. All jesuit's, the pope, worship the SUN! Do your homework, the KJV Bible tells on them, that's why it has been the ONLY BIBLE, attacked! Demons hate this Bible. Too bad, God gave us this Bible that is ALIVE and tells on you!

  • Reply m. f.*104 February 26, 2019 at 11:47 am

    Great balade, with great commentaries, great job !!😚😉👍❤

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