You guys know what "Cribs" the TV show is, right? Please don't say you're too young and I have to explain - don't make me do that and then get depressed about how old I am. So, Marie Antoinette (and her hubs + other francais royals) had quite the crib. While my friend was in town we took the train out of Paris for a day trip to check out their pad - The Palace of Versailles. We were there in February, so the gardens weren't quite as spectacular as they could have been, but I'd say we were pretty impressed either way. If you're not too familiar with Versailles and the history, it's quite the story and worth checking out. Here are some facts that I did not make up, therefore they are in quotes:
"In 1624, Louis XIII, King of France, commissioned a hunting lodge in the village of Versailles Palace near Paris. In 1661, his son, Louis XIV, also named Sun King, started the design of Versailles Gardens."
"The first building campaign (1664–1668) commenced with the Plaisirs de l’Île enchantée of 1664, a fête that was held between 7 and 13 May 1664. The first building campaign involved alterations in the château and gardens to accommodate the 600 guests invited to the party."
.. and then they kept building... and kept building into the 1700s and 1800s until they finally called it quits.
Sadly, while this giant palace was being constructed and re-designed multiple times, the countryside around it and it's inhabitants suffered. Probably not the best use of resources... but hey, now we have a great tourist attraction!
LOOK AT THIS PLACE. (and a cool selfie in the Hall of Mirrors)
AND THE GARDENS! Ahhh, the gardens. Check these out and use your imagination a little (and by a little, I mean a lot). A few of the statues were in hibernation for the winter.
and finally... Miss Marie had her own little compound for when she wanted to "get away" from the hectic life of the palace. While it's a short 15 minute walk from the big house, apparently she got away with quite a few shenanigans out there. I guess "got away with" is relatively speaking. She did have a few good times... and then they came crashing down with a guillotine! YIPES!
Hands down, one of the things you NEED to do while visiting Paris. Yes, it's a day trip, but the sheer magnitude of something like this, plus all of the history, makes it all worth it. You can even have drinks and a bite to eat at the estate... a little over priced, but that's to be expected in a tourist attraction. As I'm writing this I realized Rp never made the trip out here... oops! Guess that's on our to-do list for next time... hopefully when the statues aren't sleeping and the gardens are in bloom.