The King and the Dauphin both like to see me on horseback. I only say this because all the world perceives it, and especially while we were absent from Versailles, they were delighted to see me in my riding habit.
~ Marie Antoinette
Little did Louis XIII know that the hunting lodge he built, nestled in the forest of Versailles would become one of the most revered monuments on the twenty first century. It was his son, The Sun King or as we know him, Louis XIV who would transform Versailles from a hunting lodge to the seat of the French government and the French court.
The Hall of Mirrors and the gardens became his obsession and so thousands of aristocrats would walk the halls and the gardens of Versailles in a world surrounded by politics, gossip, court intrigue and affairs. Each monarch would add to the palace creating the stunning monument to French culture that it is today.
Perhaps Versailles is most famous for the last King and Queen to rule France, Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette. Who does not imagine what their opulent lives were like against the background of the tumultuous times in which they lived and died? So many books recount their lives and their death. The Revolution Francaise is one of my favorite periods in world history. I am constantly searching for answers but like the many pieces of a puzzle, there were many factors contributing to the downfall of the French monarchy.
Still, I consider Versailles more than just a museum dedicated to the History of France. It is a reminder of the power of kings to make their vision of France into something tangible which captivates us to this day.