Archive for December 25th, 2018

December 25, 2018

Gare Rive Gauche, left bank and Castle, Versailles of course!

So as I was telling you about the train station closest to my house in Versailles, why not tell you apart on the train station closest to the Château de Versailles! I have written posts in general on transportation in and around Versailles but these ones needs a separate entry me think. Hope you enjoy it.

I would like to tell you a bit more on the train station of Rive Gauche or left bank of Versailles. Therefore, here it is my take on it.

The Gare de Versailles-Château-Rive-Gauche (formerly called Versailles-Rive-gauche-Château de Versailles until February 2012), but still commonly called simply Rive Gauche , is one of the terminus of the line RER C . The word “Château” comes from its proximity to the Château de Versailles; The terms “rive gauche” are explained by the fact that it is located on an established line, departing from Paris, on the left bank of the Seine. This station has three platforms (two central wharves and one outside wharf) for five dead-ends (plus a service lane).


A bit of history I like

The opening of the station of Versailles-Rive-Gauche, in the district of Saint-Louis, takes place on September 10, 1840 at the inauguration of the line of Paris at Versailles by the left bank of the Seine. Its origin being the pier of the Maine (old station of the Gare de Montparnasse). It is the closest station to the Château de Versailles (about 500 meters to the entrance gate of the castle, by the Avenue de Sceaux, which folks usually go a longer way by the Avenue de Paris). In order to facilitate the access of the site to its many visitors, the old name of the station nevertheless included the mention Château de Versailles. Its new name now includes the historical mention Rive-gauche as well. As mentioned, the Versailles Château Rive Gauche station is the closest to the castle/museum . It is accessible from the center of Paris with stations such as Champs de Mars, Invalides, Musée d’Orsay,Notre Dame-Saint Michel , etc. This station gets very busy, so I suggest that you buy a return ticket so you won’t have to waste time queuing to buy your ticket back to Paris. This is call in French un billet Aller/Retour.



This SNCF train station, has a passenger building with open counters every day. It is equipped with Transilien automatons machines and Grandes lignes (big lines and even to Europe). facilities, equipment and services are available for people with reduced mobility. A press magazine snacks Relay is present, as well as distributors of fresh and hot beverages and snacks, an automatic photograph booth, a photocopier and a telephone booth are also available.



The Rive Gauche station is served by the bus lines A, B AK, C, H, K, L, P, R, T Express, TRI (see links below), W, X, Z and 22 of the Phebus bus network of Versailles, by lines 261, 262, 263, 39.12 and 39.37 H of the company Chevreuse Valley (SAVAC) , by Lines 401, 439 and 440 of the Sqybus bus network, by lines 11 and 111 of the Hourtoule company, by the lines 40 and 44 of the STAVO company, by the Express Line 1 of the Transdev of Montesson , at night, by the lines Night 1 and night 3 of the Phebus bus network and by the N145 line of the Noctilien network. The station has a Véligo(bikes) space.

The line RER C into Versailles many times is decorated with sumptous wagons and I caught one for the memories here


If anything, there is a full SNCF/Transilien/RER sales office at the Chantiers train station (Montparnasse line) not that far from rive gauche station. Located at 4, rue de l’abbé Rousseau Open from Mon. – Fri.: 7h- 13h10 / 13h45 – 20h30.  The best most direct way to reach Chantiers from Rive Gauche is to leave the later turning left into rue du Général De Gaulle and then a left into Avenue de Sceaux by the parking right before the garden Etangs Goubert take a left into rue de Noailles continue until next street which is Rue des Etats-Généraux and take a right on it continue until the Place Raymond Poincaré take a right ,the station is right ahead takes only about 14 minutes walking on beautiful streets of Versailles.

Let me give you some webpages to help you plan your trip here some are well known others not

Official Transilen trains RER C for Versailles

Official Chateau de Versailles on Rive Gauche and others

Official city of Versailles on public transports getting in

If you come by car, and why not,, neoparking is the one I use all over here: Neoparking on rive gauche parking

City of Versailles phebus bus network passing by castle

Official Phebus bus network Versailles lines passing by Castle

The TRI bus works from April to October, here is 2018, the bus takes you from the 3 major train station to the castle and trianons only stops! Use it great service. Phebus network on TRI schedule for 2018

There you have it in a nutshell if still need more, ask me. We did took several times for the thrill of public transport with the boys as they came in front of it all the time from their school and they use the same buses as all. Versailles is Royal. Hope it helps

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!




December 25, 2018

Gare Rive Droite, Versailles!

Hello my world, here I am on a nice  morning, cool, cloudy and rainy at 13C or about 52F. And I feel nostalgic about my Versailles and my travels to work in Paris as did use public transport like anyone else here (well for a time I could use my car love it) but only at work, personal took my car ok ok !

I like to tell you a bit more on my train station in Versailles; done transport routine in other previous posts you can find in my blog, but only on the nice old quant Versailles Rive Droite (right bank) alone this is it. My train station!

The Gare de Versailles-Rive-Droite is a train station terminus of the Paris-Saint-Lazare to Versailles-Rive-Droite, located in the Notre-Dame district of Versailles at 40 rue du Maréchal Foch. (You can see if walk a bit more after the Notre Dame market ). Opened in August 2, 1839. It was my closest station to our house! From Paris Saint Lazare ,it will take you about 28 minutes to reach it (depends on traffic and problems can be as much as 36 minutes sometimes).


It owes its name of Rive Droite (right bank) to the fact that it is located on an established line, departing from Paris, on the right bank of the Seine river. It is managed by the SNCF serviced by the trains of the L line of the Transilien (network Paris-Saint-Lazare). It is located at a distance of about 23 km from the station of Paris-Saint-Lazare. This train station is one of the oldest in the French railway network and has relatively little evolved since its inauguration, preserving its configuration and its original passenger building. It is one of the five stations of Versailles (the others been gare de Porchefontaine RER C , gare de Montreuil line L Saint Lazare trains (stop before rive droite), Chantiers Montparnasse trains ,and Rive Gauche (left bank) RER C (closest to the castle/museum). The station with its six sidings , and two more for night and sometimes daytime, it serves as a parking point and train of the South Line.


A bit of history I like

The project to built it was granted to James de Rothschild, on the project of the Paris line to Versailles by the right bank of the Seine, had until the station of Asnières, a common trunk with the line of Paris in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, that opened in 1837.

The passenger building is made up of a single building perpendicular to the tracks and level with them. The tracks are arranged in two bundles in cul-de-sac around a central wharf. They are connected to the ends by rotating plates in order to rotate the locomotives, allowing them to be placed at the head of the convoys. After the arrival of a train, the locomotive was detached, returned to the plate and joined the other end of the convoy by the adjoining track, to which it connected after a manoeuvre to return to the other way. On August 2, 1839, the sons of Louis-Philippe (king of the French) inaugurated the new line. The depot is built along the ramp to the Rue de Clagny. It comprises a five-lane building, separated into two groups of two and three lanes; Each is equipped with a 20-meters long sting pit, designed to collect the slag falling from the fireplaces of the locomotives. The installations are reworked during the electrification of the line, by a third side rail and then by catenary, respectively in 1927 and 1978.



In 2011, a counter is open daily from 6h to 01h40. As before, there was a one person handling the tickets or you bought it in advance online! . The Transilien and Grande Lignes ( big lines) automatons are also available, and the station tickets can be purchase for the Grandes Lignes (big lines intercity Europe) from Monday to Friday from 8h30 to 19h30, and Saturday from 10h to 18h30. A Relay magazine and snacks store are present in the lobby, as well as beverage or snack vending machines, an automatic photo booth, a telephone booth, a photocopier and a custom postcard distributor. A bicycle park is located outside the train station, but apart from a few parking spaces in front of the passenger building, it has very little parking area.

The station is served by the lines A, D, E, G, H, H Express, S, T Express, TRI and night 1 of the Phebus Versailles bus network, as well as by lines 17 and 17S of the Transdev of Ecquevilly bus network, by line 471 of the RATP Paris region bus network, by line 111 of the company Hourtoule and by the Line 39.37 F of the company SAVAC. Of course these needs to be verify as they can change from the time I used them.

You can come to from Paris at Rive Droite train station ; for example take the bus G towards Versailles Chantiers train station, but get off at Hotel de Ville Monday-Saturday: 6h07-20h23 ,on Sunday: 7h28-20h28 taking about 10m to 25mn ;on Saturday 15-27minutes, and on Sunday 15-40 minutes, there at Chantiers , take the bus 171 direction Pont de Sèvres ,to terminus in Paris or back reverse order , the bus runs Monday-Saturday: 5h30-01h , Sunday: 6h30-01h and runs every 8-10 minutes. There you can then connect to all of Paris on metro line 9 as well as tramway line T2 or other bus lines such as 160 169 179 279 389 and 467.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip and enjoy the ride into Royal Versailles are

Official Transilien on Rive Droite in French

Useful (me think) pdf map on the transport zones of the Paris region, Versailles is in zone 4 for all train stations:  Official Transilien zone transports map

Official Chateau de Versailles on train stations see Rive Droite

My favorite blogroll site YELP for all tips and info on all of France, here is Rive Droite: Yelp on Gare Rive Droite Versailles

Hope it helps guide you well into my favorite city aside from new home of course! Enjoy Versailles!!!

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!



December 25, 2018

Royal Chapel: Château de Versailles!

This is an odd day very busy going around preparing for Christmas 2018, which by the way Merry Christmas to all my friends and readers of my blog even if a bit late… I had to do it all with my boys in tow preparing and having my father get involved helping too for the dinner preparation. And what inspiration I took from all that well a special place for me on a special city .

I came first to the Château de Versailles back in 1990 and was like any tourist hurry up to see all in one day.  I had the my family, my parents, and wife’s grandmother with us. The first couple of trips were like this, then they were more routine until finally came to live here in 2003. I took this place as my own, for many reasons not tourist inclined. I like to tell you a bit more of the Royal Chapel of the Château de Versailles.


The Royal Chapel of the Château de Versailles is a palatial Chapel near the corner of the king’s Grands apartment and the north wing (aile nord). The present Chapel was completed and blessed in 1710, after a construction period that lasted for many years, a first draft of the project dating in fact from 1687. The definitive Royal Chapel, was preceded by four successive shrines, made in various locations of the palace. The chapels formed the place in which the daily activities of the Court were held during the Monarchies.

A bit of history I like

From 1663, a first confined sanctuary was lodged in the northeast of the castle in the stalled pavilion, at the location of the current cabine doré of Madame Adelaide; The expansion of the castle subsequently took place at the chapel, which was moved in 1670 to the south, at the site of the present Queen’s guard room (Salle des Gardes de la Reine).   Two years later, in 1672, a new chapel was installed at the site of the present hall called the coronation (salle dite du Sacre). It was blessed on November 3, 1672 and had an area of nearly 250 m2.

In 1682, the court settled in Versailles. The project of Le Brun is then abandoned. The wing of the South (l’aile du Midi) was built and the chapel was fixed at a temporary location in the north, against the Tethys Cave (grotte de Téthys ). A large cross was placed at the top of the roof, designating the function of the place. The space allotted to the musicians, in the tribune of the first floor, was fully integrated into the chapel. Two secondary altars were placed on the ground floor, one dedicated to St. Louis, the second to St. Theresa, patron saints of the royal couple. A third altar was set up in the rostrum, adorned with a painting of Cortona stone from the royal collections.

On this occasion, a permanent service of the Royal Chapel was instituted. king Louis XIV entrusted her to a community of Mission Fathers-also called Lazarist-Sons of Saint Vincent de Paul, who were housed in the castle. Conceived as provisional, the chapel of 1682 was used for 28 years; As a result, it is the most frequented building by Louis XIV. Important ceremonies took place, such as the great receptions in the order of the Holy Spirit in 1688-1689 or the marriage of the Duke of Burgundy in 1697.

The definitive location of the Royal Chapel was found in 1687. The plan of the building was barlong, with an initially rectangular bedside. The Chapel had two levels,on the first floor, a tribune reserved for the king, facing the altar, bordered the entire nave. The Royal Chapel was preceded by two superimposed vestibules, which gave access to the north wing (l’aile nord). The Royal Chapel was first designed not to exceed the height of the roofs of the rest of the palace. But from January 1689 the building was significantly higher. On June 5, 1710, the Royal Chapel was blessed by the Cardinal Noailles, Archbishop of Paris.

The sculptures was in the service of architecture. Originally, a large royal crown on a cushion and a mat-all in lead-was to be placed at the top. But finally, a lantern of nearly 12 meters high, surmounted by a Cross, overcame the edifice. The ridge of the roof of the chapel rises to 38 meters (43 meters from the lower court of the chapel) and is dominated by a cross at its eastern end.. On the ridge of the roof, there are two groups of three lead angels. These angels, originally gilded, measure 210 cm. The first group carries the fins, symbol of the hope of the resurrection; The second supports the Cross. The roof is also adorned with motifs, landforms and round-bumps in lead, once gilded. Representing the fleurs-de-lys, tussock, florets and palmettes, a torus of chopsticks, branches of rotating fins, consoles and double-consoles, campanes and cherubim, friezes of posts, Royal crowns, cartridges and pellets, they were performed by the artists who worked in the lantern.

In 1705, twenty-eight statues of apostles and evangelists, fathers of the Church and allegories of Catholic virtues were arranged on the outer balustrade. Evoking the great achievements of Baroque Rome, this ensemble is animated by a powerful and innovative breath. The iconographic programme originally provided for thirty-four figures: The Four Evangelists, the Twelve Apostles, the four fathers of the Latin church, the four fathers of the Greek Church, eight virtues and the patrons of the French monarchy: Saint Louis and Saint Charlemagne. The last two figures and four virtues were suppressed. So 28 statues of the outer balustrade are today.   In order to obtain a vast unified space that can receive a painted vault; the designed in 1707 traces an ensemble programme, centered on the representation of the life of Christ and, at the vaults of the rostrum, on that of the Apotheosiss of the Twelve Apostles. The Great Vault shows the resurrection, in the cul-de-furnace of the apse. The central part of the vault an imaginary edifice, pierced by three openings to the sky. In the center is represented God the Father in His glory, on both sides are depicted angels bearing the instruments of Passion.. The realization of the Twelve Apostles a concert of angels singing the dominion, in the axis of the chapel, above the organ buffet. The sculpture is especially visible inside the building, in the reliefs that animate the walls. In the nave, also begun in 1708, each pillar is adorned with a relief evoking an episode of the Passion.

The interior decorations:

A column ordinance was created on the first floor of the Royal Chapel, integrating into this process of raising the building, to which it brought lightness and strength. On the ground floor, on the other hand, pillars were used. . The marble pavement was undertaken in 1708, according to a pattern which seems to reflect that of a vault still supported by double arcs: a orthonormal weft defined by black strips supported by white, in which take place of the compartments of symmetrically distributed geometric shapes. The balustrade of the rostrum, originally slated in marble, was provided with gilded bronze balusters laid on plinths and supporting handrails made of Serravezza marble. At the same level, two cubicles or lanterns were added on either side of the Royal Tribune. Rock-inspired furniture remains only the altars and the organ, designed specifically for the building and become buildings by destination. The master altar was placed in the arcade of the sanctuary, completely obscured by the glory of the altarpiece. The ensemble was made of gilded bronze in 1709-1710. The bas-relief of the lamentation of the Dead Christ, a masterpiece of the art of French bronze, was placed in antependium. It is in a way the culmination of the cycle of Passion carved to the pillars of the nave and the sanctuary.


The nine other altars of the Royal Chapel were consecrated to the Holy Sacrament, to the Holy Virgin and to the principal patron saints of the Royal family: St. Louis, St. Anne, St. Theresa, Saint Philip, Saint Charles, Sainte Victoria and Saint Adelaide. Four altars were surmounted by painted altarpieces.


The organ buffet, designed and sculpted in 1710, shows chubby cherubs, the favourite theme of the next generation, around a bas-relief depicting King David playing the harp. Normally placed above the entrance, it is here exceptionally above the altar to which the courtiers turned their backs to face the king, whose prayer-God occupies the place traditionally reserved for organs: on the first floor, facing the altar.


What you have today:

The Royal Chapel is placed under the word Saint Louis. This ancestor of Louis XIV, his patron Saint and his model, built the Sainte-Chapelle of Paris, an architectural reliquary designed to contain the crown of thorns. The Parisian monument will serve as a model for religious architecture. The Royal Chapel of Louis XIV is inspired by it. Respected as such, it is today the most authentic part of the castle because it was spared by the revolution (only the Fleurs-de-lys, at the base of the columns on the first floor, were smashed) and excluded from the restructuring of the 19C. Since June 2017, the exterior of the chapel, very degraded after three centuries, is the subject of a campaign of restauration. The first instalment concerns the cover and framing, the lead ornaments, the sculpted statues and decorations, the stained glass windows and the upper floors. It will last from 2017 to 2020. The statues are the subject of an adoption campaign.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Chateau de Versailles on the Royal Chapel

Visual Video of the Royal Chapel on the Château de Versailles webpage:

It is a masterpiece and a must room to see in the must to see Palace Museum of Versailles to be enjoy by all for generations more. Versailles is Royal.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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