The name itself suggests, “Grand”! And believe me; it truly lives up to its name. Huge marble columns, rich gilded ceilings, stunning tapestries, exquisite furniture..the list is endless; the Grand Apartments have it all. The château houses King’s and Queen’s apartments, the famed Hall of Mirrors, the Royal Chapel, the Mesdames’ apartments, and many more.

The King’s Grand Apartments has many apartments or Salons. The interesting feature is that many of these salons are named after the Greek/Roman gods.  The interiors of these apartments are luxurious beyond imagination. In fact, each apartment is a museum on its own.

Hercules Salon

The Hercules Salon, the first salon of the King’s Grand Apartments, but was the last one to be created. This has the famous painting by Veronese, ” The Meal at the House of Simon“.

Hercules Salon_Ceiling

The Ceiling of the Hercules Salon, has a stunning masterpiece, ” Apotheosis of Hercules“.

Abundance Salon

The Abundance Salon, the place of wining and dining!

Venus Salon

The Venus Salon, presents the maximum of Baroque decor.

Diana Salon

The Diana Salon, the place for evening soirees and billiards.

Celeing Apollo Salon

The Apollo Salon, perceived to be the grandest of all salons. The salon has scarlet red interiors and a grand ceiling that shows every inch of grandeur.

Ceiling Mars Salon

The Mars Salon, also known as the Ballroom, was famous for music and dance. This is a photograph of the section of ceiling of the the Mars Salon. Pity..the salon was overcrowded for a decent photograph of the salon. Moral of the story is, if you want great photographs, you should be at Versailles by 9:00 AM 🙂

Mercury Salon

The Mercury Salon was originally the parade chamber, later gave way for installing the gaming tables. This had valuable artefacts in gold and silver, which were melted down to finance the Spanish War of Succession.

King's Bedchamber

The King’s bedchamber, opulently done in gold and silver brocade.

King's Council Chamber

The King’s Council Chamber, adjacent to the bedchamber. I love the quiet elegance of blue and gold brocade.

The Queen’s Grand Apartments are no less in taste, style, and luxury to the King’s apartments. In fact, they have the dainty sophistication befitting the royal ladies of their time. There are few detailed pictures for the queen’s apartments. When I visited Versailles, the tourist season was at its peak and among the sea of human skulls, it was virtually impossible to get sane photographs 🙂

Queen Chamber

The Queen’s Chamber, replete in gold is a homage to the ultimate luxury. Nineteen “Children of France” were born here.

Queen Chamber_1

A rich and ornate seat in the Queen’s chamber. I was spellbound with the gilded details.

Nobles Salon

The Nobles Salon, was the antechamber where the Queen would hold audience with ladies of the court. 

Marie-Antoinette had the Nobles Salon redecorated to the apple green damask, much influenced by the latest English fashion. I loved the ornate carpet of the salon.

The antechamber of the Grand Couvert

The antechamber of the Grand Couvert, this was the seat of grandiose dining amidst much fanfare and rituals.

Other apartments, such as the Mesdames’ Apartments are equally grand. In fact there is no corner in the palace that could be termed ordinary, tame, or austere by any chance. In the eighteenth century, Mesdames’ de France was a collective reference to the unwed daughters of Louise XV who lived in the royal court. Among the Mesdames’, the apartments of Madame Adélaïde and Madame Victoire are truly spellbinding.

GRAND CABINET DE MADAME ADELAIDE

Madame Adelaide’s Large Chamber done in pastel shades and gold. The room had a chimney of Serancolin marble.

Madame Adelaide’s Bedchamber

Madame Adelaide’s Bedchamber, gorgeous in pale colors and gold was much noted for its “Summer Furniture”.

Bedroom of Madame Victoire

Madame Victoire’s Bedchamber, ornate and rich, was previously owned by Madame Adelaide. Her chamber was also known as “Petit Cabinet Bleu“.

Bedroom of Madame Victoire_2

A beautiful seat in Madame Victoire’s bedchamber.

Carpet Madam Victoire

A stunning carpet in bright colors in the Madame Victoire’s bedchamber.

Bedroom of Madame Victoire_1

Madame Victoire’s Interior Cabinet in her bedchamber.

Second AnteChamber of Madam Victoire

Madame Victoire’s Second Antechamber, the floors and walls were covered with marble was a former bath chamber.

Madame Victoire’s Second Antechamber

The ornate folding screen from the Savonnerie and a chinese style wall clock add richness to Madame Victoire’s Second Antechamber.

Madame Victoire’s Large Chamber

The Grand Cabinet of Madame Victoire in her Large Chamber. 

The Large chamber of Madame Victoire was largely redecorated and has a harpsichord by Blanchet which is a testimony of Madame Victoire’s love for music. They say Madame was herself an accomplished player of harpsichord, that Mozart dedicated the first six sonatas for harpsichord to her.

Sometimes they say that the best is saved for the last. Keeping true to the saying, I end this post with the infamous Hall of Mirrors.

Hall of Mirrors

Hall of Mirrors

The Hall of Mirrors is an ultimate salute to the extreme luxury and extravagance of the palace. Three hundred and fifty seven mirrors adorn the gallery. Replete with gorgeous chandeliers, sculptures, and candelabras, one can only feel fortunate enough to see and feel to be a part of an era that probably changed the way France was and is now. On one hand the luxury of Chateau De Versailles is a cruel reminder of the huge divide between the royalty and commoners and on the other hand, it is also a true celebration of the marvels of what a human mind is capable of. I say my silent prayers for those who suffered and express my admiration to those thousands of hands who perfected this great architectural dream in gold.

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Chateau De Versailles or Palace of Versailles is a statement in itself. No amount of words or photographs can describe or depict its grandeur.  Steeped in history, the palace is a living dream by Louis XIV. Opulence is everywhere, be it in the rich interiors of the palace rooms, carefully resourced art or the magnificent gardens. A classic example of the finest French Baroque architecture, the palace complex houses the Palace, the Garden, the Grand Trianon, and Marie-Antoinette’s estate. If you want to enjoy the entire complex, you need to park yourselves here for full one day. I had very short time on my hands; therefore I could cover the palace and just a bit of gardens. Hopefully, there might be a second time to see it all.  The palace itself is so huge that a lone blog post would hardly do any justice to the magnificence of the place. Since, I am more of a lens woman than a wordsmith; my huge number of clicks can hardly fit into a sole post ;-). Let me show you a bit of palace exterior and bit of the hallways inside the palace through my lens as I saw it.

The Royal Fence: This encloses the Gate of Honour which is the main entry to the marble courtyard housing the palace.

The Royal Fence: This encloses the Gate of Honour which is the main entry to the marble courtyard housing the palace.

Royal Coat of Arms on the Gate of Honour

Royal Coat of Arms on the Gate of Honour

Inner Courtyard.

Inner Courtyard

A little close-up of the palace in the marble courtyard

A little close-up of the palace in the marble courtyard

Detail view of the palace roof in the marble courtyard

Detail view of the palace roof in the marble courtyard

Detail of a balcony of the palace.

Detail of a balcony of the palace

Statues lining a hallway. Looks like you have come to another era altogether.

Statues lining a hallway. Looks like you have come to an another era altogether.

Another path inside the palace. The warm glow from the chandeliers and the black and white marble floor makes the palace ethereal.

Another path inside the palace. The warm glow from the chandeliers and the black and white marble floor makes the palace ethereal.

The Royal Chapel, replete with its tall columns and gorgeous arches.

The Royal Chapel, replete with its tall columns and gorgeous arches

Another close-up of Royal Chapel. They say that Louis XIV and Marie-Antoinette got married here.

Another close-up of Royal Chapel. They say that Louis XIV and Marie-Antoinette got married here.

The Royal Chapel as seen from outside

The Royal Chapel as seen from outside

A path cordoned off..But looked lovely to me.

A path cordoned off..But looked lovely to me.

Sneak peak into palace gardens from a palace window

Sneak peak into palace gardens from a palace window

The palace from back, from here you go to the gardens.

The palace from back, from here you go to the gardens.

Another look from back

Another look from back

A close-up of the section of palace roof as seen from back

A close-up of the section of palace roof as seen from back

Gardens of Versailles. You can see the Grande Canal at a slight distance. Simply magnificent!

Gardens of Versailles. You can see the Grande Canal at a slight distance. Simply magnificent!

Next post would be on the Grand Apartments. I visited Versailles on a rainy day, but no weather mars the beauty of the grandiose dream of Louis XIV!!

Why Shunya Diaries????

Posted: May 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

IMG_0745The toughest thing when you want to start a “blog” is to choose an appropriate title. Now, I was thoroughly struggling what title my blog could possibly have? OKAYYYY…time to actually think what exactly I want to blog about. First thing that came to mind was travel.Now, I do a reasonable share of travelling, and certainly do not classify as a travel blogger. I really don’t have tons of patience to write in detail of all places and sights that I travel. Believe me, most of the places have already been documented beautifully well by hundreds of travel enthusiasts. Next thing on the mind was FOOD..Well..such a comforting topic to dwell on, but then I am no gourmet chef, and what is there to tell about how to make a certain mutton, chicken, or paneer..I would rather tell everyone to follow Vikas Khanna or Jamie Olivier ( love him)..After this topics just don’t end.. In my mind, I have a total jigsaw of politics, people, humanitarian crisis related stuff, pets..the list just doesn’t end..SO..I decided, that I would blog about anything under cosmos that I loved or found interesting and worth penning down few lines.

And, that is where SHUNYA stems from. Shunya means, “Void…this ‘nothingness’ from which the entire Universe originated”. (Adapted from http://vijaymohankohli.blogspot.in/2014/02/shunyaemptynessvoid.html).

Therefore, the Void and the Universe aka Cosmos are the two sides of the same coin. And, I want to pen down and photograph my experiences of this beautiful void called the Universe as I observe it everyday..so, here are the Shunya Diaries..