After we left mass at Notre Dame, we caught the train to Versailles, the seat of French political power during the reign of Louis XIV through XVI, ending when Louis XVI was forced to move his family back to Paris during the French Revolution.
Because we had a museum pass, we hopped to the head of the admission line – so smart, Kath and Kathleen! Here's a view of the gate from the inside. Doesn't that tall guy in the bowler hat look like Charlie Chaplin? Whaddya suppose he's looking at? Maybe wondering when the king's chariot is going to arrive?
This little chapel is just inside the entrance. No wonder the French revolted, eh? I mean, really - did they NEED a chapel with a golden altar in their house?
And then there's the Hall of Mirrors, or the Galerie des Glaces, with its crystal chandeliers catching the light from the windows along one wall and reflecting it in the mirrors on the opposite wall. Just imagine all those tourists in powdered wigs and brocaded silk gowns. I know it's a stretch...
Right at the end of the hall is where the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919, ending World War 1. What's there now? A big plastic Murakami "sculpture". Maybe it's just my age, but I totally missed the rationale for having this garish anime exhibit in such a garishly opulent setting. Too much garish for me. Bordering on gruesome. (Are you wondering how I really feel about this?)
Outside in the gardens that seemed to go on forever, we enjoyed walking among the ponds, statues, and trees while listening to classical music. The weather was beautiful and the flowers were tres magnifique!
Down there in the woods on the right, we stopped at a little outdoor cafe for lunch and people-watched from behind our sunglasses.
Back in Paris, we went to Sacre Coeur…a beautiful church despite the hordes of peeps and street entertainers – right outside the front door of the church.
After we observed part of the mass at Sacre Coeur, we trooped down to the Left Bank for dinner at Café Paris, then walked back across to the Right Bank to visit the Tour St. Jacques in the moonlight.
Why did we want to see this relatively obscure 16th century Flamboyant Gothic monument? Ah, that story is yet to come.