Monday, June 3, 2013

Versailles Needs Feather Dusters

Years ago I did some research on Marie Antoinette, the French Revolution, the Reign of Terror, etc., for a novel I was working on. I never finished the novel (though I’d love to go back to it), but the history stayed with me.

So we couldn’t visit Paris without visiting Versailles. It was as amazing as you’d guess. I was disappointed in the fountains—none of them were running and the biggest of the fountains was being restored so it was a maze of construction and dirt.

But here is the Hall of Mirrors.

And a photo of the chapel, from the second story balcony.

And here is Marie Antoinette’s bedchamber.

This is the door she escaped through when the mobs came to Versailles. 

Apparently, the guards feared reprisals from the mobs and when they demanded entry to the palace grounds, the guards opened the gates.

Here’s her bed in Le Grand Trianon, a second smaller palace on the grounds of Versailles.

And here’s her bed in Le Petit Trianon. Apparently, Marie didn’t like the grandeur, pomp, and court intrigue of the main palace or even the much smaller Grand Trianon. So she spent most of her time living in Le Petit Trianon.

Yes, the bed is really tiny. You'd have to curl into a ball to sleep there.

If you go back to the photo of the first bed, note the thick layer of dust on the bedspread--so thick you can't even see the pattern on the fabric. This is one of my few complaints about Paris. The museums and cathedrals have serious dust issues. Cal sneezed a lot. (I took allergy medicine.) I know the French have lots of work maintaining their historical artifacts, so I was thinking that I'd get together a group of dusting friends and we’d dust the museums, churches, etc. (My Dutch immigrant friends have all volunteered—they have a cultural aversion to dust, even a speck.) And the French government wouldn’t have to pay us, just buy us a plane ticket. They wouldn’t even have to get us a hotel room. We’d be happy to bunk out at Versailles.

Any other volunteers want to join us? 


  1. I would totally do some dusting for a free ride to Paris!

  2. Count me in! I hate cleaning, but for a free trip to Paris, I'd manage.

  3. That's amazing that such famous parts of history are left so dusty!!! I love your business proposal to help out - bunking out at Versailles!

  4. Have cleaning rags, will travel!

    Gorgeous pictures, but boy! That Marie Antoinette sure slept around, didn't she? HA!

  5. I'm in, but I'd want to see the place closed for a while.

    Just came back from a trip to France. The crowds at Versailles nearly drove me mad. I think it's because the weather was so bad.

    The hall of mirrors was so full of people that I STILL have no real idea of what the floor looks like.

  6. I would love to go to Versailles! It's so opulent. Thanks for sharing the pictures!