Tuesday, August 17, 2010


One thing I have wanted to see in France for a long time is the Palace of Versaille. I am nor sure if there is an exact reason for this desire, or if it is an accumulation of many reasons.

I remember learning about Louis the XIV, the sun king, and being fascinated by him. It was he who decided to move from the present day Louvre after building the palace. The palace was built for all royalty in France to live in. By moving everyone there Louis the XIV was "keeping his friends close and his enemies closer'' a message from Machiavelli's book, The Prince.

The palace also hosted the Treaty of Versaille, the peace treaty Germany and friends were forced to sign ending World War I. This treaty can also be argued to have helped cause World War II. I often wonder what would happen if Woodrow Wilson, the American president at the time, was listened to. He didn't want to oppress Germany which is what made them so desperate to allow someone like Hitler gain power.

Unfortunately, we went to the palace on a Monday, the only day it is actually closed. I was unable to enter the building but was still able to visit the grounds. This building was built to replace the Louvre as the kings home. I was impressed by the size of the Louvre so you can imagine the size of this place. You could spend the whole day on just the outside grounds and in the garden, which is what we did.

It is hard to show a picture and give you an idea of how big the place is. Obviously I can't get all the buildings into one picture. This is part of the front building.

There are statues all over the grounds. There are 4 big ones outside of this fountain (there are also many fountains) and they are named after the 4 major rivers in France. You can see part of the back of the palace in the background.

A close picture of a part of one of the gardens. You can see many statues in the background.

This is to give you an idea of what the grounds look like and how big they could be, but you still can't see everything.

My final night in Paris was spent playing poker with one of my old Australian flatmates and some of his friends and co-workers. It was nice to play with him again. A lot of the game was played in French. I learned one poker related phrase, ''ta-pay.'' It translates literally to carpet but in poker it means ''all in.''

No comments:

Post a Comment