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Travel to Versailles
By: Student Traveler (justin) 2011.12.28

If you descend the great steps of the Versailles garden slowly enough, you might just feel like royalty. A whopping 580m long, this crib won't fit in your camera frame. To be fair, the palace did house all 6,000 members of the royal court and serve as the seat of government, after Louis XIV decided in 1661 that his father's old brick and stone chateau needed an upgrade. No less than four men were needed to get it done. Louis XIV, or the Sun King, or the self-aggrandizing narcissicist, commissioned two architects, Lous Le Vau and Jules Hardoiun-Mansart, painter Charles Le Brun, and landscape designer Andre Le Notre to create an unquestionable symbol of the awesome power of the French monarchy. Later, with the 1789 Revolution, Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette would learn just how contestable that power was when set under a guillotine blade. In 1837, King Louis-Phillipe initiated a clever piece of PR, opening up parts of the palace to the public and dedicating it to "all the glories of France", emphasis on all, emphasis on France. Since then, the chateau has remained largely unaltered, through a 370 Europe renovation and restoration campaign was launched in 2003, and visitors now are hardly of royal blood. Buy the Let's Go Europe 2011

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