Sunday, June 23, 2013

Versailles - the house

The building was a huge expansion of what was once a royal hunting lodge, so that Louis XIV could show his power, absolute, received directly from God. It housed uppity aristocrats where the king could keep them under close watch.  He was a patron of the arts - painting, theatre and music.  It employed thousands in its building and running.  It is now one of the jewels in the crown of the French Republic.

I'm not a big fan of treks round stately homes, but it has to be done - and shouldn't be missed.

the golden gates stay shut
we are shunted in round the sides
our queuing lines can breathe again
we expand to a loose rabble

cross the courtyard
past the audio guide counter
“Follow the arrows, 
this way please,
no straying,
this is the direction of the visit"

We drift through endless glorious rooms
of paintings, carpets, luscious chairs and beds
sublime ceilings
splendid, awe-inspiring, powerful,
dazzling with wealth and colours,
light and comfort
beyond the merely human
I have no audio
to halt me and point out what I should see

then the highpoint

Galerie des Glaces, Hall of Mirrors
reflecting daylight, or the glow of chandeliers
back and forth the silver softened light
grey skies outside and lights within

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