When I was a kid, during a short trip to Paris, my mother took my brother and I to Versailles’s palace. She was really excited about it and I could feel that we were going to have a major experience in our life.
And we did have a special moment, but what stayed in my memory are the hour long wait at the entrance, the grandiose Hall of Mirrors and the bedroom of Marie-Antoinette. I can remember how weird and uncomfortable it felt to be able to admire what I was seeing. Everything was in perfect order and state, everything was truly magnificent and definitely over the top but I could not stop thinking at the history. There was actually someone who slept in that bed, there was someone who sat at that desk, who walked in that hall and those people finished in two pieces, with their heads showed to the crowd as a sign of justice. There was such a contrast between the calm and luxury of the interior and the violence that it provoked and has been through.
Nevertheless, on our way back home at the end of our summer holiday, we decided to stay one night in Versailles and to use that short break to visit the garden of the palace. What a great idea, what an exquisite place! The more we walked into that immense garden, the more we became euphoric by the vision of those multiple gardens.
Everything is so perfectly put and thought out. Nothing is left to chance. What a work, what a master work!! We had a couple of hours to visit it but actually we could have used some more. There were so many things to photograph and for a change, I preferred to enjoy the moment with my family and most of the time let my camera in my bag. There are special moments where family comes first!
However, while I was strolling in one of the alleys, I could not help but think of what it took to build such a place, how many people were dying of honger at that time, how many people were suffering and the same nauseous feeling I had 30 years before came back.
It is a good thing that Versailles still “exists”, that so many people are taking care of its state. It is a wonderful example of what mankind can do and achieve in the domains of manufacture, architecture, gardening; it is the living model of what excellence means. It is also important to keep in mind at what price it has been done.
We will return to Versailles and next time we will visit the palace as it is part of our history and culture but we will never forget its history.
May you all be have a sunny day.