Nostalgic for Europe Part II: Versailles
Versailles is a short train ride from Paris, around 20 kilometers to be exact. From a friendship of one of my fellow travelers, we were able to stay for free in Versailles, a suburb of Paris, while we studied the art and culture in France. This fortunate connection even allowed us to stay on old palace property in a protestant church which was built for the nobles of the king (the current structure is a rebuilt version, but on the same property). In beauty, splendor, and size, I’ve seen few other man-made structures. The château itself is a wonder of engineering work, and the gardens which are grandly scaled, have a mystique that envelope any who wander their precisely trimmed pathways. While beauty describes the palace on the one hand, historically, injustice describes it on the other, as it was built to the extreme of opulence while most of the common people starved. It’s easy to see how this symbol of wealth helped lead the common people into the French Revolution.
While the events surrounding this historic site lead many to cry for justice like the common people of pre-modern France, the picturesque architecture and gardens will draw out the romantic in anyone.
Nostalgic for Europe Part III: Switzerland…coming soon!