Posts tagged ‘Versailles’

October 16, 2019

Tour de France 2020!

Ok so you are going to K me again this is an event way ahead but me think is good to plan ahead. When you have these big events I think it is always good to know the dates and the towns so you have plenty of time to plan your family’s trip. And I mean plan everything. This is the case with the Tour de France cycling race. The ultimate!!

I am not an expert nor I ride now but still love it and all my family do. For all even the views of the cyclists going thru the wonderful countryside of my belle France is enough to come and see it, either on TV or even better on site. Over the years we have followed it usually around Pau but sometimes near me now and even near Paris. Let me tell you a bit about the 2020 edition of the Tour de France.

A Tour de France entirely in France, with mountain from beginning to end and in which the only test against the clock will be in the penultimate stage, ending in the hard climb to La Planche des Belles Filles. This is the route of the 2020 edition of the Tour de France, which will be held from June 27 to July 19, 2020 dates advanced by the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The Southern Grand Départ from Nice will have three exits with an initial stage for sprinters and on the second day there will be a mid-mountain exam with 4,000 meters of unevenness in order to fight the Leader from the beginning. In fact, on the fourth day the first final will appear on high, on the high in Orcieres-Merlette, 7.1 km at 6.7% level.

The sixth stage will be another arrival up in a port like Mont Aigoual, which will link up to 34 km of final ascent. It will be on the way to the Pyrenees, protagonists of the second weekend. Two days, Saturday July 4 and Sunday July 5 with the first with Balès (11.7 to 7.7%) and Peyresourde (9.7 to 7.8%); and the Sunday, with Hourcere and Marie-Blanque. After the rest day, the race will reach the Atlantic coast, between the islands of Oleron and Ré, with the wind as the main protagonist. Nor will forget the Tour de France to honor the recently deceased Jacques Chirac, with the longest and only stage that passes 200 km at 218 ending in Sarran, in a second week that will end with the final in Grand Colombier.

The final berth will be blatantly mountainous, with a day on July 14 with five ports and final in Villard-de-Lans, to give way to one of the great novelties the next day, the Col de Loze, an extension of the station Meribel, which leaves a rise of 21 km to 7.8%, the last four hard and exceeding 2,300 meters of altitude. Everything, after having made the Madeleine before (17.1 to 8.4%). Stage reigns before another mountain day (four ports on the way to La Roche-Sur-Foron) and the decisive 36 km chrono ending at La Planche des Belles Filles, the hand-to-hand duel where the organization expects the winner to be decided.

The stages of the Tour de France and brief commentaries from AS and L’Equipe sports journals.

1st stage (June 27th): Nice –Nice (medium country) 156 km.The first stage of this Tour de France will make a great loop in the Nice hinterland with, rare thing, three difficulties to borrow from the inaugural Saturday.

2nd stage (June 28th): Nice –Nice (high country) 187 km. From the second day, the long but steady col de Colmiane pass (16 km to 6.3%) placed in the first third of the stage, then in the wake of the Turini pass (15 km to 7.4%) both already punctuated Paris-Nice in 2018 and 2019 respectively – and the slightly more affordable Col d’Eze (7.8 km at 6.1%) will stand in front of the peloton, in a Tour de France which begins full slope (nearly 4000 m of elevation gain).

3rd stage (June 29th): Nice-Sisteron. 198 km. Without being a mountainous stage as the day before, the profile of this day will be slightly bumpy when the riders leave the Mediterranean shores for the Provençal hinterland, and will rise to above 1000 m before descending to Sisteron for an arrival which will be disputed between bruisers and/or sprinters.

4th stage (June 30th): Sisteron – Orcières-Merlette. 157 km. A 4th stage that already reaches the 2,000 m of altitude at its arrival: the first days of the 2020 edition will be steep, with the line drawn at the top of the climb of Orcières-Merlette, only 7 km but at 6.7% average. The foot also includes the steepest pass, with a second kilometer of ascension announced at 8.2% average. The riders will have already negotiated a first difficulty at nearly 1500 m before

 5th stage (July 1st): Gap-Privas. 183 km. Runners will leave the Hautes-Alpes gently sloping for the Ardèche buttresses through the Rhone Valley, often open to the winds of the South and, why not, to the curbs. Long-distance breakouts could be a breeding ground for victory if the sprint teams do not lock the race.

6th stage (July 2nd): Teil-Mont Aigoual. 191 km. Back on the slopes for the fourth time in six days with an arrival at Mount Aigoual that the Tour de France had not visited since its only passage in 1987. It’s not so much the last 14 kilometers that will make the difference, with their alternation between plateau and final elevation at a pleasant 4% average, as the formidable and irregular Lusette pass (11.7 km at 7, 3%) just before, including two kilometers passed in 11 % of slope. A total of 34 km climb that will reduce the organisms after not even a week’s drive.

7th stage (July 3rd): Millau-Lavaur. 168 km. A hilly stage but without real big difficulty. If weather conditions do not spread the peloton in small clusters, the riders could come out unscathed.

 8th stage (4th of july): Cazères-sur-Garonne – Loudenvielle. 140 km. A sequence of three well-known passes, an arrival in the valley in a rather narrow stage: the Pyrenees stand before the peloton at the end of the first week of racing. Col de Menté, Port of Balès and Col de Peyresourde punctuate this mountainous stage which finally switches to Loudenvielle. The succession of three climbs introduces the lightning but strong passage that makes the Tour de France in the Pyrenean massif.

9th stage (July 5th): Pau-Laruns. (we have been here before!!) 154 km. Second day Béarnaise before the day of rest, again a wild severity. The brutal succession of the Hourcere and Soudet passes, planted well in the middle of the stage with 11 km at 8.8% followed by 3.8 km at 8.5%, barely interspersed with a descent of 5 km before the pass of Marie Blanque and its 7.7 km at 8.6% is added to the table in the last third of the stage, conclude a first week of Tour de France particularly marked by the mountain, unpublished in the modern history of the test.

10th stage (July 7th): Île d’Oléron (The Château d’Oléron) – Île de Ré (Saint-Martin-de-Ré).170 km. The Tour de France will go from island to island (wonderful to see) after the day of rest, for one of the few steps possibly for sprinters.

 11th stage (July 8th): Châtelaillon-Plage – Poitiers. 167 km. New stage with very soft relief, which will still be able to smile to the teams of sprinters on the Poitevin line .

12th stage (9th of July): Chauvigny-Sarran. 218 km. The longest stage of this 2020 edition will lead the pack towards Sarran, through a bumpy course without being really nothing complicated.

13th stage (July 10th): Châtel-Guyon – Puy-Mary. 191 km. A profile that will leave no respite, typical of those stages of mid-mountain that have worn out the bodies of runners in 2019. All incessant climbs and descents, this stage crossing the Massif Central is announced as the one with the biggest difference in altitude of the 2020 edition – 4400 m for 191 km of course. Among other celebrations listed: the Col de Ceyssat pass, the Col de Guéry, the Montée de la Stéle, the Estiade coast, the Anglards-de-Salers coast before concluding by the Col de Néronne pass (3.8 km to 9.1%) which precedes by 5 km the final rise of Pas de Peyrol, a sacred delicacy of 5.4 km to 8.1% of average. And whose 2.5 ultimate kilometers stand at nearly 12% with a passage to 15%. Big program in perspective.

14th stage (July 11th): Clermont-Ferrand – Lyon. 197 km. A stage marked the passage of the Béal pass in the first part of the race. Not enough to decide the fate of the stage before a descent to Lyon and some bumps on the menu in the very last part of the race: the coast of the Duchère, the rise of the Observance and the Côte de la Croix-Rousse will spice up the finale.

15th stage (12th of July): Lyon-Grand Colombier. 175 km. From almost every angle: from Lyon, runners will approach the Grand Colombier by almost all its possible access and drive. First by coming flirting with him from the west, to the saddle of Fromentel (11 km to 8.1%, including slopes between 11.5 and 22% in the last three kilometers), before s’ turn to go down to the north and hang on the Col de la Biche (7 km to 8.9%). They will then have to turn east, join Culoz and tackle the Grand Colombier, which is so difficult (17.4 km at 7.1%), irregular, with a brittle rhythm, where in several places the slopes follow slopes of 12%!

16th stage (July 14th): The Tour-du-Pin – Villard-de-Lans. 164 km. If the Chartreuse massif and the Col de Porte pass, which appear quite early in the stage (km 47) do not already scatter part of the peloton, the Vercors, its climb of access (by Saint-Nizier-du -Moucherotte), its plateau and its final coast at Villard-de-Lans, could legitimately be the theater.

17th stage (July 15th): Grenoble-Col de la Loze. 168 km. The queen stage of this Tour de France will cross the Madeleine and will end at the top of the Col de la Loze Pass, an unprecedented climb to the spectacular finale, destined to become a classic of the Great Loop. A narrow road opened last May and closed to cars has made accessible to cyclists the summit of the Col de la Loze (2 304 m), which connects the valley of Meribel to that of Courchevel. The extraordinary strength of this climb does not lie in its length (21.5 km in total from the foot, Brides-les-Bains), nor in its average percentages (7.8%), but in the unique profile of last six terminals, on the new elevation road. This consists of a succession of impressive walls and floors, with many passages over 20%. Short laces, violent raids and incessant ruptures of slope, which offer cyclists a phenomenal field of expression.

18th stage (July 16th): Méribel – La-Roche-sur-Foron. 168 km. Since it was retracted due to weather conditions in the 2019 edition, here is the Cormet Roselend served on the menu of 2020, but this time in its direction Bourg-Saint-Maurice – Beaufort. Then come a solid sequence of the Col des Saisies, the Aravis, the rise of the plateau Glières (back to the program after an appearance in 2018)

19e étape (17 juillet) : Bourg-en-Bresse – Champagnole. 160 km. Part of the Ain to join the reliefs of the Jura, it will not present difficulties comparable to the previous days and could benefit the sprinters.

20th stage (July 18th): Lure – La Planche des belles filles (against the clock). 36 km. The only stage against the clock of this Tour de France 2020 will be played on 36 km with a final in hill. And what a rise: the now classic Planche des belles filles, on the program for the fifth time in nine editions. Nearly 6 km to 8.5% (in “normal” version for 2020 after the “Super Planche” of 2019) with ad hoc passages at 13 or even 20%. A chrono during the penultimate stage is not new in the recent history of the Tour de France all editions from 2002 to 2008, then those of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 or even 2017 were filled, with a single change of leader on the eve of the arrival in Paris, in 2011. But the uniqueness of the individual chrono this year makes it a unique event.

21st stage (July 19th): Mantes-la-Jolie (Yvelines dept 78! – Paris .122 km. As every year until 2024, the last stage of the Tour starts from the Yvelines to reach Paris. By an agreement between the Tour de France and the dept 78 Yvelines! My old home!

The official webpage of the Tour de France:

There ,now you are all set to come in, bienvenue  and enjoy the race ,the Tour de France 2020.

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


October 15, 2019

The Christmas markets of my France!

So this is the season to be merrier indeed. Always my best part even if already the second one without dear late wife Martine and the 13th without my dear mom Gladys. I will be with my 3 boys and Dad to weather the seasons and be merry.  And we need to plan ever so earlier these days lol!! So here it is be prepare be ready be merrier !!!Merry Christmas to all:::!!

As the title says, there are many wonderful Marché de Noël or Christmas markets in my belle France. I have written before on some,but this year will post those that I have great memories with the family and been to them on several occassions sometimes two in the same year! Hope you enjoy them as we did/do.

Some of my favorites Christmas market or Marché de Noël, well there are many favorites, let’s just say these are the ones been while living there or nearby.

The marché de Noël or Christmas market at place de la Poissonnerie in Vannes all part of a project of the school Ecole Sainte Jéhanne d’Arc near the Place du Poids Public   many vendors and creators, producers will be at the school yard on December 7th.

From December 20th to January 5th, 2020 at the place Maurice Marchais,Hôtel de Ville in Vannes. A huge Marché de Noël a highlight of the Christmas activities, appointment appreciated by families. An ice rink of 300 m² and a 50 m² ice garden will also offer to the little ones a safe gliding area, equipped with games and accessories. Do not forget your gloves! They are required for skating. A glove dispenser (€ 5 per pair) will be available at the entrance to the rink. On this same square, two gourmet chalets offer sweets: pancakes, chichis, waffles, chocolate, mulled wine, coffee, tea … Every day from 14h to 19h and Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10h to 12h. Opening Friday, December 20 from 18h to 22h. More info here in French: Tourist office South Brittany on Vannes Christmas market

Another nice one in my area will be from Friday December 13 to Wednesday December 19 at the Place Notre Dame in Auray, across from the Church of St Gildas. A wind of magic will blow on the city with the launch of the Illuminations that will unfold from December 6 in the streets of Auray. More info in French here: Tourist office bay of Quiberon on Auray Christmas market

One of the best in Brittany will be the Marché de Noël in Rochefort en Terre from December 13 to the 31th 20190 The whole city puts on its clothes of lights to the delight of young and old! Light garlands, stalactites, curtains of lights are installed in the streets and alleys and the park of the castle. Come stroll and admire these lights that will amaze young and old. Wooden chalets and shops of the city: Fairy atmosphere in the Small City of Character from 17h30! We have come every year since 2011! More info here:

Live Magic of Christmas at the Esplanade de Hoche, in Quiberon! The Village de Noël will be there from December 21 to January 4 2020. Come stroll, feast and meet the folks at the Christmas Village, open every day. You will discover gift proposals, an associative scene and booths with the theme of Noël Gourmand! Free skating on natural ice. Every day for free, borrow ice skates, take off on the track! The little ones will be able to take off themselves, wearing shiners, pushing toboggan sleds. A teams of volunteers are there to help you choose the skates. For your safety and comfort, do not forget your gloves and hat! Opening of the ice rink on December 21st. There will be horse wagon or Caleche from 23 to 31 December. Makeup artists from December 23rd to January 3rd 2020. More info here in French: City of Quiberon on Christmas market

At Versailles ,not a specific Christmas market but plenty of events especially for the season. See the lineup on the palace/museum site at their official webpage here:[]=136&id=field-theme-136

And, also, at the city of Versailles webpage on these days activities here:

For the memories a short film I saw in YouTube that is pretty good to show you the ambiance in a town like Versailles this was a few years back. Enjoy it here:

And on my dear Seine et Marne at Disneyland Paris we will be a big one as usual.  The Noël Enchanté Disney 2019 at Disneyland Paris the traditions continuesin the two parks Disney and the Disney Village.  There will be many thrills and entertainment at the Walt Disney Studios Park and Disney Village. All from November 9  to January 6  2020. More info in French here:  Disneyland Paris Christmas market and celebrations

From November 20 2019 until January 8,2020 hundreds of garlands will illuminate the Christmas 400 pine trees on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris, of course. The installation of trees will last until mid-November and will illuminate the most beautiful avenue in the world with a flamboyant red.

One of the best if not the best in the Paris region happened in Hauts de Seine dept 92 at La Défense. A Christmas Village on the parvis de la Défense from November 21st to December 29th, 2019. The modern neighborhood at the forefront of La Défense is transforming its face as the sun goes down and the lights of the Christmas market come on. Under the Grande Arche of glass and steel, emblem of the city’s economic district, the atmosphere becomes magical thanks to the Christmas stalls. Decorations, gifts, ethnic objects, delicacies, sandwiches with melted cheese: these are the ingredients of this evocative Christmas market. More info here in French: City of La Défense on the Christmas market

For nostalgic sake, here are some small one passed by them and enjoyed many times.

Take it to the Gare St Lazare; Cour de Rome ; the Marché de Noël   November 16-21 2019. Creations made in France . Rendez vous in the street Cour de Rome to see some like Basus, La Fine Equipe, Dagobear, Ullys, TheTops, Furia, Laurie, and Collants Lauve. More info here on the Gare St Lazare and others from SNCF: SNCF Christmas markets and on gare St Lazare

Another small but nice is at the Marché de Noël des Fééries of Auteuil on the Rue Jean de la Fontaine 16éme arrondissement of Paris from December 1-6 2019. 11h to 19h. More here in French from the mayor’s office of the 16 of Paris: Mayor’s office of the 16 arrondissment of Paris on the Auteuil Christmas market

Then some bigger and popular market in Paris proper.

The Saint Germain des Prés 2019 Christmas Market from 1st to 31st December 2019 , and 10h to 19h. You will find many stalls merchants but also entertainment for young and old. It is also an opportunity to find gift ideas or culinary specialties. This is the ideal way to market and prepare your New Year’s Eve meal. Saint-Germain-des-Prés church in the 6éme arrondissement of Paris. More official here but not yet the 2019 just keep an eye on this webpage: Comite of St Germain on the Christmas Market

The Christmas Market of Notre Dame!! This year more than ever be there if possible. It will be from December 14 to December 23, 2019.   Nearly 40 artisans will welcome you for this Christmas Market located on the square René Viviani. You will find artisans, fashion designers and accessories sellers. More info in French here: Official Notre Dame Christmas market

The Christmas Market of Abbesses, Montmartre. From the end of December 2019 to the beginning of January 2020 and 10h to 17h. The Place des Abbesses 18éme arrondissement of Paris, organizes its traditional Christmas market. This is the place to go for the hunt for gifts and local products: all to experience the magic of Christmas family. No web yet available but stay tune for it as awaiting official dates.

And the Paris tourist office on many more here :

There you go be here or be square a magical moment to be in my belle France. Hope you do your planning well and have a wonderful time with family and dear friends wherever you are in the wonderful Earth. Merry Christmas to all!

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

October 15, 2019

Church of Notre Dame, Versailles!!!

I am surprise not to find a single post on this church in my blog! I could not find it and it was my church while living in Versailles! ouuffs so much to see and many thing even forgotten lol! Well this post is to remedy this forgetfulness of mine. This is it, if you are coming to see monuments away from the palace/museum , and you should, this is a must, the history of France, Europe, the world started here!!!

The Church of Notre-Dame  is officially at 2 rue Baillet Reviron for the parish office but the main facade entrance is on Rue de la Paroisse corner with Rue Sainte-Geneviéve in the Notre-Dame district (mine!) and its facade facing the rue Hoche, formerly rue Dauphine,  leading to Place Hoche and eventually the Place d’Armes and the palace/museum of Versailles!. It is notably the parish royal church of the Palace of Versailles since the monarchies. The closest train station is Gare Versailles Rive-Droite (mine!!!)  but on the RER C rive gauche you can easily walk to it. Of course, it is in the Yvelines dept 78 of the region of Ïle de France!


The carved decoration is limited to the façade with figures of Religion and Charity  with the spandrels of the Porte Royale (royal door). Statues of Religion and Martyrdom occupy the niches from 1812. Inside, the central nave extended by the choir ends in semicircle; it opens with large arches on the aisles and the ambulatory. The crossing of the transept is covered with a dome, surmounted by a lantern. A suite of thirteen chapels surrounds the church.


A bit of history I like

From 1682, the definitive installation of the king at Versailles, then that of the main administrative services of the monarchy, determines a strong increase of population: the small village becomes a real city, and in particular in the new district located north of the avenue of Paris, which becomes the Notre-Dame district (mine!!!) .The construction of a church, at once parish of the royal castle and the new city, is decided on the accounts of the King’s Buildings. For this project, king Louis XIV chose his first architect, Jules Hardouin-Mansart. On March 10, 1684 was the laying of the first stone by king Louis XIV and by October 30, 1686 ,the consecration of the church to Our Lady of the Assumption.  At the same time the palace of Versailles was still been enlarged. The registers of the parish will include baptisms, marriages, and deaths of the royal family.



This is how all the baptismal, marriage and death certificates of the royal family of France in Versailles are recorded in this parish registers, including the baptisms of seven kings of France, Louis XV, Louis XVI, Louis XVII, Louis XVIII, Charles X, Louis XIX and Louis-Philippe I, as well as that of Philip V of Spain, the marriages of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, Louis XVIII and Marie-Josephine de Savoie, and Charles X and Marie-Thérèse de Savoy, and the funerals of Louis XIV and Louis XV. A condensed version of all these names that mark the history of France, Europe , and the World from Versailles!



In 1786, a campaign of decorative works included: in the nave and the choir, fluting of the pilasters; in the choir, rosette sculpture with arches doubling from the vault, leaves, ovals and pearls with moldings of the large arches. Three years later, the inaugural procession of the Estates General leaves from the church on May 4, 1789. After the French revolution, the only original furniture remaining was  the buffet of large organs  the pulpit, the Assumption , painting of the high altar, adds to it the Preaching of St. Vincent de Paul, arrived in 1739; Christ on the Cross , marble statue, from 1690, arrived in 1791. In 1793, when the policy of official atheism began, it was transformed into a temple of reason and then a place of worship. At the end of the revolutionary period, it is its neighbor, the Church of Saint-Louis of Versailles, (St Louis district) which was chosen as cathedral of the new diocese of Versailles. Due to the fact, it would have been sensitive to name the Royal pantheon, the cathedral so a compromise was done with the French Republic! It is still the place of nobility and they do come often to the Church of Notre Dame!



Efforts was made to refurnish the Church of Notre Dame such as  in 1815, twelve precious marble medallions (apostles, evangelists, etc.) were sent by the best sculptors of the 16C, from the former Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture; in 1818, installation of the cenotaph of the Comte de Vergennes, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Louis XVI, signatory of the Treaty of Independence of the United States (1783), a marble of 1788. Over the years, arrival of paintings, among which: Assumption, 1767; Martyrdom around 1730; Lamentation of the Death of Christ, 1635; the Transfiguration and Christ in the Garden of Olives, circa 1610.  The construction at the bedside of the church of the important Chapel of the Sacred Heart, 1858-1872.  Baptismal marble basin closed by a lid surmounted by a statuette of Saint-Jean-Baptiste in bronze or copper from the 17C . The stained glass windows with strong coloration in all the bays of the chapels. Marble paving of the choir and marble plating at the base of the pillars. Installation of an accompanying organ at the location of the altarpiece at the end of the choir. According to the norms of the liturgical reform decided by the Council of Vatican II, reorganization of the choir and construction of a new high altar,1999.



Some webpages to help you plan your visit here and again is a must are

Official Church of Notre Dame in French

Tourist office of Versailles on Church of Notre Dame in French

City of Versailles on monuments and heritage see Notre Dame bottom

Again, this is a must when visiting Versailles as the history here very much relates to what you see at the Château de Versailles! After all, it was the church of the palace for many years! I was lucky to lived by here and see in all its splendor on Mass of notoriety attach to all its history. The decorations are very nice as well.  Hope you enjoy the tour!

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


October 14, 2019

The groves or bosquets of Versailles!

Ok so even thus written on the gardens of the palace/museum of Versailles, there are areas dear to me that have givne the full credit they deserve. Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on the groves or bosquets in the gardens of Versailles. Even thus, I will say again, there is a lot more to see in the city than the palace, just browse thru my blog search Versailles.

Two particular ones always gathered my attention and spent many times walking around them when lived there and when visiting Versailles. The groves of the baths of Apollo and the ballroom grove. These are my favorites of the many there.

The Bosquet des Bains d’Apollon or Grove of Baths of Apollo is a decoration in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles. Located immediately west of the castle, it was made by Hubert Robert, in the romantic spirit under the reign of king Louis XVI, between 1776 and 1778. In 1778, the former “Bosquet du Marais” created by Jules Hardouin-Mansart in 1704 under the probable instigation of Madame de Montespan, becomes the Bosquet des Bains d’Apollon.


In 1704, the three groups were installed in the bosquet de la Renommée , which occupied the northeast corner of the current grove and took the name of Bosquet des Bains d’Apollon.   To protect the works, frail iron canopies trimmed golden lead ornaments were completed in 1705.

In 1778, the statues were moved in the bosquet du Marais redesigned for the occasion and which then takes the name of the bosquet des bains d’Apollon. For the redevelopment of the grove, Hubert Robert designed an artificial cave in the middle of a green landscape dotted with waterfalls and small pools of water, in the Anglo-Chinese style then fashionable. An English garden whose center is occupied by a lake dominated by a huge dummy rock adorned with waterfalls and dug a cave in which is installed the group of Apollo, while the two groups of the Horses of the Sun are placed from either side.

Apollo is accompanied by five nymphs, in the grotto of the Bosquet des Bains d’Apollon, a set of seven statues, the first masterpiece carved in marble and probably the most important for Versailles. The central figure of the composition was freely inspired by the Apollo Belvedere and also evoked that of the King, two side groups representing the Horses of the Sun which replaced those of December 1667.

A bit more info here: Official Chateau de Versailles on the Grove of the baths of Apollo

The Bosquet des Rocailles or Salle du Bal is another grove of the gardens of Versailles. The Rocailles grove is located in the southeastern part of the gardens. It is near the following places for direction: to the north, the rampe du Midi, which separates it from the parterre de Latone, to the east, the parterre du Midi, to the south, the bosquet de la Reine, scattered by the allée de Bacchus-and Allée de Saturne ,to the west the bosquet de la Girandole. The Bassin de Bacchus is located at the southwest corner, the fontaine du Midi at the northeast corner.


The grove has three entrances on the Allée de Bacchus-and-Allée de Saturne, at its southwest corner, in the middle. The last entrance is south of the northwest corner. The Salle de Bal is decorated by several vases and torches in golden lead. Arranged by André Le Nôtre between 1680 and 1683, the grove is the last compound before the installation of king Louis XIV at Versailles. It was inaugurated in 1685. The central zone originally had an oval dance floor, delimited by a small canal. This track is destroyed in the early 18C.

A bit more info here: Official Chateau de Versailles on the ballroom grove

And for all the others the direct link is here: Official Chateau de Versailles on the Groves or bosquets

The gardens are a must to visit and will take you a whole day to see it all. This is a huge property and unfortunately most foreign guides tells you to head for the inside and then the rest. To me it should be the other way around one day gardens one day inside and then maybe another half day for the Trianons/hameau. Then , you can leave saying you saw the Domaine de Versailles. Enjoy the groves or bosquets of my beloved Versailles.

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


October 14, 2019

Souvenirs of Versailles!

So let me give you now a special shopping experience in my beloved Versailles. You know the story of me and Versailles by reading my blog so will go to the post right away.

There is a wonderful souvenir shop right across from the RER C train station that is very popular with locals and especially visitors grabbing that last souvenirs before embarking on the RER C train back to Paris. I am putting this here to let you know and also for my memories.

This is the place of my oldest son first job in France!  The owner or manager at the time hails from Valencia, Spain! and we made a pleasant friendly relationship for a long time. My son really used his three languages here to talk with the world and we were by to take a peek at him working and buying some postcards and porcelain lamps. The place is the Presse Librairie des Manèges  Souvenir Shop at  2 avenue du General de Gaulle.  It has a wide range of souvenirs from Versailles and Paris, illustrated guides, postcards, t-shirts,  all Made in France products !


The official webpage: Official Souvenirs de Paris in Versailles

Tourist office of Versailles on the press librarie des menages


There are just around it many shops such as a McDonalds, KFC , Ibis hotel, Le karaoke bar ,Chez César pizzeria,Class’Croute sandwiches, Jeff de Bruges chocolates, NatureHouse, Sports House, the Phébus bus network office , Games Workshop, etc.

It is located just a stone’s throw from Versailles Château Rive-Gauche train station, opposite, this new renovated square or Place des Manèges . The building of the Manéges (or merry go around)  was a former military building under Napoleon III.  It now proposes a new landscaped area and a new perspective on the Porte de la Maréchalerie (contemporary art center located in the forge of the petite ecurie, go in the parvis and look back) . The square known as Place des Ménages, located in the  Avenue du General de Gaulle between the city/ town hall and the Château.  There is a renovation as well to the stairs leading to the Maréchalerie  and the high sidewalk.


Some history I like as always architecture and history is all around us in France and Versailles  as the cradle of the French Republic (France).

The Avenue du  Général de Gaulle provides access to the Rive Gauche Château  RER C station and the bus station, between the first city/ town hall and the district of the Manèges. It was the old rue de Berry since 1829, then of the rue de l’hötel de ville and rue Thiers until 1979. The name of the general Charles de Gaulle  credited with liberating occupied France and president of the French Republic (France) from 1959 to 1969.

Some interesting buildings here I like are at No 1 First Hôtel de Ville or city/town hall of Versailles. Former hotel of Marie-Anne de Bourbon, princess of Conti, daughter of king Louis XIV, then of the Grand Masters of the Royal House under king Louis XV and then the  mayor’s office of Versailles since 1791. At No  5: Gare Versailles-Château-Rive Gauche RER C . Inaugurated in 1840, the train station, restored in 2014, changed its name in February 2012 from been simply the rive gauche. It is the terminus of line C of the RER.  Opposite, in an old music pavilion, the regional bus station.  At No 6 a monumental porch vestige of the entrance of the former cavalry barracks and rides destroyed in 1988 to make way for the mall Les Ménages.

There you go another nice memory lane building in my always beloved Versailles. Hope you enjoy it and do come to shop , very friendly folks work there even today!

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

October 13, 2019

Looking through the windows to the gardens of Versailles!

Ok again my limited creativity I just came up with this title to tell you about something wonderful. On a sunny day in my neck of the woods perfect for a walk in the gardens and if in Versailles , sublime!

One of the wonders of this magnificent palace/museum done from 1837 to all the glories of France by king of the French Louis-Philippe are the gardens. I know the rush to see the wonderful inside, but the gardens are all on its own. Do not want to go into details on this post as have many on Versailles in my blog having lived there. The gardens are free entry even on musical water fountain days if you go way back after the Grand Canal from the entrance by the Porte Saint Antoine, and we jogged walked and just had our lunch at Angelina at the Petit Trianon for many years; we love and we still do !

I like to give two perpective on the gardens as view from inside the Palace/museum of Versailles, the Domaine de Versailles includes all the buildings while the Château de Versailles is call just the main castle.  It is a lot smaller today than what it was under the Louis’s if you can believe that due to the size it has even today.

The great gardener of France , André Le Nôtre organized the gardens of Versailles around two axes, north-south and east-west. The first part of the bassin de Neptune, goes up by the allée de l’eau and continues until the Orangerie and the piéce d’eau  des Suisses. The second, called Grande Perspective, crosses the gardens like an axis of symmetry, beyond the Bassin de Latone, it follows the allée royale to the Grand Canal.


And from the Salon de la Paix come the picture. This salon is ​​a lounge located south of the Galerie des Glaces.  Above the green Campan marble fireplace stands Louis XV offering his two daughters in testimony of peace to Europe painted in 1729. The young ruler, aged nineteen, holds out an olive branch and receives his two twin daughters, Louise-Elizabeth and Anne-Henriette, from the hands of Fecundity and Piety . In the end, the Discord vainly tries to reopen the doors of the temple of Janus. In the time of Marie Antoinette, the Salon de la Paix was an integral part of the king’s apartment. It was a bit like his games room. The Salon de la Paix was restored in 2017, thanks to the patronage of Renault (car maker).

The Allée Royale is the major east-west axis of the garden. It is drawn from the first garden of the time of Louis XIII. It is at the beginning of an alley about fifteen meters wide, showing a steep slope, ending in a basin dug in the early 1660s, the piéce d’ Eau des Cygnes, future bassin d’Apollon. Around 1665, the alley is widened (it is now about 45 meters wide) and its slope considerably softened. Under Louis XVI, an alignment of chestnut trees is added to its border with yew and hornbeam. On the side of the Parterre de Latone, the entrance to the alley is marked by two admirable groups of Louis XIV, Milon of Crotone  in 1682 and Perseus delivering Andromeda  in 1684. Today, these are casts, the originals being kept in the Louvre museum of Paris.

See the parterre d’eau from the Salon de la Paix


And from the Salon de  Mars is the picture. The salon part of the Great King’s apartment, this room decorated on the theme of Mars, god of Roman mythology, served as the guard room of the time of Louis XIV. The Salon de Mars served as a guardroom. It marked the true entrance of the Grand Apartment of the King, giving access to the salon de Mercure. During the evenings of apartment introduced by Louis XIV, the Salon de Mars was first devoted to a gameroom. There were several tables for card games and other games of chance. Around 1685, the king made pierce the two walls on both sides of the chimney to arrange two stands supported by columns and intended for the musicians. The salon is then dedicated to music and dance. Louis XV removed these stands in 1750. As the function of the salon requires, the iconography of the ceiling is dedicated to the god Mars and war work. A golden cornice is supported by helmets of all models such as Roman, Turkish, etc.

See the avenue du Sud  section from the Salon de Mars window.


There are many objects such as fountain, statues , busts in the gardens and a walk here is sublime, again. One of the highlights of coming to Versailles, enjoy the gardens!

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


October 9, 2019

The Massy-Palaiseau station at Massy!

Ok so lets get you to another sort of off the beaten path area of my eternal Paris. This is a place that has been just passed by and only use its transport hub , an important one especially if living in the west of France like me::)

There is a way to get direct from my Vannes train station on the TGV service to Roissy CDG airport or even Disneyland Paris. This is the connection station sometimes and sometimes it goes direct, talking about Massy-Palaiseau . Let me tell you a bit more on it and hope you can use it as well

A bit on the town itself.

Massy is located in the department 91 of Essonne in the region Ile-de-France.  It is at 15 km from Paris-Notre-Dame, point zero of the roads of France, 16 km from Evry, F km from Palaiseau, 34 km from Etampes, 28 km from La Ferte-Alais,30 km from Dourdan, 39 km from Milly-la-Forêt and only 13 km from Versailles. The town is bordered on the north by the course of Bièvre for about 1.52 km (old river now gone from Paris see Rue du Biévre)

The Massy-Palaiseau station, opened in 1883, is currently part of a multimodal hub connected to RER B and C and completed since 1991 by the Massy TGV station (I take)  served by the five French high-speed lines, Atlantique to Rennes , Nantes and Bordeaux, South-East to Lyon then Mediterranean to Marseille and Montpellier, North to Lille and Brussels and now Eastern Europe to Strasbourg. There is also bus stations of Massy-Atlantis and Massy-Vilmorin


The TGV, RER and bus stations are interconnected by a  241 meter footbridge to allows passengers to reach the RER, TGV and Vilmorin and Atlantis bus stations. In 2022 there should be added the Express line 12 of the Ile-de-France tramway via the Massy-Palaiseau station and the new Massy-Europe station. This line will use up to Épinay-sur-Orge the old Grande Ceinture line and then will run in tramway mode to Courcouronnes and Évry by following the A6 autoroute.


By road , you have the two ancient roads prior to the 18C, the national road 20 heir to the great royal road from Paris to Toulouse, currently the 920  road (this have taken from Paris to Toulouse! both when name 20 and now 920 )to the far east and the 188 road from the east to the southwest (old road of Chartres main axis of old Massy constituted of the avenue of President-Kennedy,  Rue Gabriel-Péri, rue du mai 8 1945 and the rue de  Paris).

Other than the intersection on TGV from Vannes to Roissy CDG which I have taken several times, there is little to see other than the main one me think of the Opera de Massy, Cultural Center Paul Bailliart, and the Conservatory of Music and Dance.  There is ,also, the Château de Vilgénis rebuilt in 1823,  from its origins of 1755, now owned by Air France!

Some transports info on Massy station to follow

City of Massy as how to come here

Area tourist office Paris Saclay on the TGV intermodes at Massy

And there you go ,the transport tribulations of my belle France. Yes, you notice too almost everything is routed by Paris yes indeed. It all has to do with a National government of a Republic that wanted to crown its jewel in one city, Paris.

The Massy-Palaiseau station is nice big areas, plenty of eating places and easy panels me think. The trip from the west is long ok for me but my father is difficult and he has taken it with me and the boys too. However, it is a great alternative to get to Roissy CDG for many including me and avoid the Paris center, and it is very easy about 32 minutes to Disneyland Paris.

Enjoy the rides at Massy-Palaiseau. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!



October 1, 2019

The roads of Versailles!

Well for lack of a better title I put up the roads of Versailles to mean how to get around in the city by bus or car above ground! Yes Versailles the city of the palace/museum has an excellent transportation system and great roads/streets. Let me share some of it with you today.

Versailles has an excellent transport system and have written before on its main train stations in fact the city has five!  Rive Gauche,  Chantiers, Rive droite, Porchefontaine, and  Montreuil.  The first three I say you can walk to the palace/museum. Therefore, I will concentrate this time on the bus network and roads. Versailles is 40 km from Roissy CDG airport (dept Val d’Oise 95) and 25 km from Orly airport (dept  Val de Marne 94).

From Roissy CDG airport there you take the train RER B until Saint-Michel- Notre-Dame, connect here with the train RER C until terminus at  Versailles-Rive Gauche. You can also take the airport bus Air France to Porte Maillot, and take a taxi to Versailles. You can connect with the Gare Montparnasse, and later regular train to Versailles-Chantiers.  Or from Gare Saint Lazare take the regular train to Versailles Rive Droite.

By car is a breeze believe me don’t read the scary books! Take the expressway from Roissy CDG airport ,autoroute A1  direction  Paris, get on the boulevard périphérique Ouest (west), follow direction Rouen A13, and take the A13 direction Rouen/ Versailles, until exit or sortie n°5 Versailles Centre/Château. Follow this road avenue des Etats-Unis, which continues into avenue de Saint-Cloud, all the way to the palace/museum.

From Orly airport, take the Train RER B until  Massy Palaiseau, change there to take the train RER C direction Versailles-Rive Gauche. With the Air France bus take them to Gare des Invalides ,and there take the train RER C to terminus at Versailles-Rive Gauche. You can also arrive at Gare Montparnasse and take the regular train  SNCF until Versailles-Chantiers. Or from Gare Saint-Lazare take the regular train to Versailles-Rive Droit.

By car go out Orly and take the A106 direction Paris than shortly get on the outside beltway on the A86 exit or sortie Versailles Château. Follow this road avenue des Etats-Unis, which continues into avenue de Saint-Cloud, all the way to the palace/museum .

All train stations in Versailles, you can walk to the palace/museum or take in high season the bus TRI of Phebus that connects all train stations in Versailles with the palace/museum ,trianons etc.

There is the  RATP bus  n° 171  coming from the metro  station  pont de Sèvres line 9 until in front of the palace/museum on Avenue de Paris terminus.

The city bus info center is at the Espace Clients Phébus  Open Mondays to Fridays from  9h to 13h and 14h30 to 17h30. Office location at  12 av. du Général  de Gaulle. Right across the train station rive gauche near the Hôtel de Ville.


Agence Navigo Phébus,  open Mondays to Fridays from  9h to 18h. Saturdays from  11h to 18h. Office located at 18 av. de l’Europe. Almost at the corner of ave de Saint Cloud near the Monoprix store.

There are several other kiosks ,shops that can sell the tickets but the above are the official ones and both close to the palace/museum. The main city bus terminal is at Place Lyautey ,across from the RER C train station rive gauche (left bank).


Cost of ticket + is 1,90 euros and for the pack of 10 is 14,90 euros. Coming from Paris the price in train is 3,65 euros.  The bus lines Phebus were recently change from letters to numbers, the official webpage still is Phebus here:

My old line is now the no 3 passing by rive gauche (ave du Général de Gaulle)  and rive droite  (Ave du Maréchal Foch) very close to the palace/museum. In winter months there is line 14 easy taken in Ave de l’Europe or Place du marché Notre Dame (market).

The city of Versailles has a page showing all transports possibilities here:


For car parking in Versailles, I never had problems finding off street parking, even visiting the city, but still it is easier if coming for a day per se to use the city public parkings. The closest to the palace/museum are right in front of the palace/museum in place d’Armes as well as at end of  avenue de Sceaux (passing ave du Général de Gaulle and near the rive gauche train RER C station, the train stations at Chantiers and rive Droite and the  place du marché Notre-Dame (I advise small cars here because the ramps are tight). Other parkings are Parking Europe (right across the gove building prefecture) Parking Saint-Cloud (at corner with ave de l’europe),Parking Saint-Louis (by the Cathedral) and Parking Reine-Richaud  (by the hospital apts complex behind the train station rive droite) on Blvd de la Reine.  The city has about  20 000 places for parking on street and  more than  3000 places with two above ground parkings such as Sceaux ,and Place d’Armes, and 4 underground parkings. You need to enter your license plate into the ticket machine or horodateur or on the application smartphone and can ask for a receipt. The city agents will be able to verify the payment via a portable gadget.  If infraction on parking like time expire you will have  FPS= Forfait Post Stationnement that is establish by the control agent. The fine is  33 € in Versailles but it can be reduce to  17 € if the payment is done in the next  5 days of the fine or  FPS.



For my friends in camping cars, the best is at Parking de Sceaux if only for a day. However, if overnight you need to go to the  camping de Versailles Huttopia at 31, Rue Berthelot,contact  tél +33 (0) 1 39 51 23 61. Follow from palace/museum the ave de Paris and turn right after passing the Hôtel de Ville on Rue des Etats Généraux continue same road changes name to Rue des Chantiers, then turn left on Rue Yves Le Coz, and then right on Rue Berthelot!

There are many companies that cover Versailles in public transports such as RATP, SNCF (you know these from Paris), and other coming from other town such as Véolia, Savac, and Keolis. The city ,also has parking for bikes or vélos such as near 830 spots with nearly 600 spots on the road itself, 80 spaces are reserve at the train stations Rive Droite, Rive Gauche ,and Montreuil, and 80 spots in consignment at the train station Chantiers.


To find place you can magnify this map of Versailles:

Some additional webpages to help you move in Versailles are

Tourist office of Versailles how to come here and more

Tourist office of Versailles on public transports modes

Hope it helps those coming or taking the bus and or car to Versailles; it is a very plausible city to drive on and only the areas around the palace/museum can be considered traffic prone. The bus well as I always said above ground you see more so take it, it goes everywhere even to around the Orangerie on the Route de Saint-Cyr  D10 or the Porte Saint Antoine (hameau trianons) on rue de Versailles D186! Enjoy the royal city of Versailles: my kind of town!

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



October 1, 2019

More streets of Versailles!

And here I am continuing my walks in the beautiful cities and towns of my belle France. Well this one needs no introduction me think ! I am bragging lol! I used to lived in Versailles for almost 10 years upon entering France! Since moved to Bretagne where I am still in the Morbihan breton for another 7 years! La vie est belle en France!

Let me tell you briefly about the streets of rue de Satory, Rue du Général Leclerc, and Rue du Maréchal Joffre in my beloved Versailles!

Well there is a Satory a district of Versailles, department of Yvelines (78) region of Ile de France.  Not to be confused with the rue de Satory  

Many deputies in the Etats Généraux (States General) were living in rue de Satory and rue du Vieux-Versailles. They met at the Libraire  Blaizot who published the minutes of the meetings. It is naturally in this familiar neighborhood that they gathered for the swearing in the Jeu de Paume , founder of the new French Republic (France) .


The rue de Satory in the quartier or neighborhood of Saint Louis.  From the name of the hill south of the city to which it gave access. Old rue de la Montagne which reunited the rue du Maréchal-Joffre and the current rue de Satory. Some interesting buildings to see here me think are at

N ° 1: Beautiful Art Deco facade at the corner of avenue de Sceaux restored in 2012 (restaurant Limousin). Ernest Renan lived there in 1848 (he was a teacher at Lycée Hoche (high school)). No. 7: Former Librarie Blaizot which was a literary a firm to read the press at the time of the French Revolution.

N ° 13: Have followed since 1778, a grocery then butchers until today.  N ° 17: Balconies of 1790, geometrical: one of the entrance of the old barracks of the horsemen of Chevau-légers (light cavalry). Their motto was “To defeat the giants” ..

No. 18: Birthplace of General Lazare Hoche, who died at 29 after “pacifying” the Vendée and Bretagne. It has balconies with curved railings. Purchased  by the city in 1986. N ° 22: False windows, a house of the 18C at the corner of the rue du Vieux Versailles: a corner balcony style Louis XV. No. 26: Military cafe of the Maison du roi (King’s House) in 1814, then bakery, glacier, and tea room as today. N ° 27: Former Hôtel Lannion and former cabaret of the Jardin Royal (Royal garden)  before the French Revolution. N ° 33: A Pharmacy since 1768

The street ends today at the former crossroads of Quatre Bornes with the rue de l’Orangerie. By you know who.

A bit on the Rue du Général-Leclerc ,quartier or neighborhood of  Saint-Louis.


In memory of General Philippe Leclerc de Hautecloque  who lived in Versailles as being an instructor at the military school of Saint-Cyr, and entered Versailles with his armored division on August 25, 1944 from Saint-Cyr.  The street was name in his honor in 1948. Some interesting points on the street are at

N ° 15: Old Hôtel Montesquiou . Passage of the Marquis de Lalonde (mayor of Versailles  under the monarchy Restoration) to avenue de Sceaux. .N ° 34: the former Mirabeau dwelling in 1789. See,also, the Fausse fountain at the corner of rue Royale ,now école d’art mural (art school) of Versailles.

And the Rue du Maréchal-Joffre, on same neighborhood of Saint-Louis. It was name as such in 1919.  This is the former rue de Satory named after the hill it crosses to the south. From the name of Joseph Joffre , Commander-in-Chief of the French Army from 1914 to 1916 during WWI.


Some interesting buildings here that I like are at

N° 1 : Former restaurant of the Trois Marches (eventually the chef of Trianon)  N ° 2: Former small vegetable garden of the king (manure and sowing), lot in 1736. N ° 4: Lot attributed to Jean Loustonneau, surgeon of the Children of France, under king Louis XV. Awarded in 1864-1869 to the Chief Medical Officer of the Military Hospital. N ° 5: House where died in 1808 Mademoiselle de Romans, one of the mistresses of king Louis XV of which she had a son recognized Louis-Antoine de Bourbon. N. 7: Accommodation in 1789 of Isaac Le Chapelier, founder of the Breton club which met at Café Amaury , rue Carnot, and associated with the law prohibiting corporations. N ° 10: Current entrance of the Potager du Roi which was created from 1678 to 1683 under the direction of Jean-Baptiste de la Quintinie . Former vegetable garden and orchard of king Louis XIV and his successors. A neighborhood police station and housing for employees of the horticultural school were located at the corner of rue Hardy until the 1980s. The construction of artisans and tradesmen along the wall of the potager du roi were removed in 1853 and two grids open in front of the rue d’Anjou and rue des Bourdonnais. (See my post on the Potager du Roi).

N ° 12: Parc Balbi.  Former cul-de-sac of Satory giving access to the entrance to Balbi Park. From the name of the Countess of Balbi, Anne Jacobé de Caumont de la Force, for whom the Count of Provence, brother of Louis XVI and future Louis XVIII had built in 1785 the park and the adjoining pavilion In 1792, some of the rare plants has been moved to the Jardin des Plantes in Paris ,as usual!  (see my post on the Parc Balbi).

N ° 13: Former house of the family of the Marquis de Lalonde (mayor of Versailles until 1825) entrance of the cemetery of Saint-Louis. Depended in 1990 on the College of the Sacred Heart. N ° 14: Former Hôtel Letellier before the French revolution, then Grand Seminary in 1833, which became school Jules-Ferry in 1907 after the separation of the church and the state, then Lycée Jules-Ferry (high school) by extending to the place de l’ancienne caserne Denfert   (former barracks) across the street.

N ° 15: Angle of the rue des Bourdonnais. A cemetery from 1725 to 1776. Purchased in 1890 by the firm of disabilities services of Versailles. In 2015  the private school Saint-Louis. N ° 19: Former Hôtel de Choiseul d’Aillecourt. Salon of the Countess des Écotais under the monarchy Restoration, then by an American diplomat between the two WW. No. 24: Impasse Satory ;a Villa built from 1791 to 1804 with a view of the pièce d’eau des Suisses pond (see my post on it in my blog). Convent of Carmelites in 1900, then Grand Seminary in 1906 (displacement of seminarians from the Letellier pavilion) until 1972. Saint-Louis retreat house for elderly priests and some lay people since 1981 a retirement home for persons in need or EHPAD.

No. 29: Lycée Jules-Ferry. Former Hôtel du duc de la Vrillière in 1772, which served as stables to the Countess d’Artois, younger sister of the Countess of Provence. They contained 28 cars and 7 sedan chairs. The building then became the barracks of cavalry and infantry Denfert, then from 1981 the new Lycée Jules Ferry( high school) extension of the building on the other side of the avenue.

N ° 30: Old coolers or ice houses  in the area of ​​Satory ,exploited until 1879 by the Society of Glacières of Paris. No. 37: Land purchased by the Soeurs de l’Espérance (Sisters of Hope) in 1854; they built a chapel, which is now closed, and whose entrance is on the street. Then, a Retirement home in 1990. No. 39: former house of Jean Chavignat, first surgeon of the queen and his wife born Simonet of Tournelles, maid of the queen.

The webpage on the city of Versailles and its quartiers or neighborhoods: City of Versailles on its neighborhoods

And there you, I hope you like it and do walk Versailles , there is a lot more than the palace/museum here I keep telling you lol! And remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all!!!



September 30, 2019

Royal Opera of Versailles!!

So here I am back in France, and need to tell you about the  wonderful country of mine and my beloved Versailles a city I lived and won’t stop mentioning it lol!  However, with all the numerours posts I have in my blog on this immense royal city and de facto capital of France I have missed some important elements. Indeed , the beautiful Royal Opera of the Domaine de Versailles! I like to tell you now a bit on it ok

The Opéra Royal or Royal Opera of the Palace/museum of Versailles is an opera house built under king Louis XV located at the end of the north wing of the Palace. This is by rue des reservoirs on the outside and avenue du N or Bassin de la pyramide on the inside. And of course in Versailles, capital of dept 78 Yvelines in the region of Ïle de France!


Under king Louis XIV, the little theater of the court des Princes was inconvenient and no longer suited to new fashions. To distract the king, Madame de Pompadour mounted a small troupe of comedians chosen from among her friends; the Marquise herself held her place. The little troop had two successive theaters at its disposal, temporary and dismountable theaters installed first in the Petite Galerie (little gallery) and then in the l’escalier des Ambassadeurs (stairwell of the Ambassadors). These small halls had very few spectators and were not considered court theaters.

In building the northern wing, king Louis XIV had thought of building an opera, the bad finances of the end of his reign prevented him from doing so. King Louis XV took over the project on the occasion of the marriage of his grandson (future king Louis XVI) with the Archduchess Marie Antoinette. The construction was begun in 1768 under the order of the king by the anticipation of the marriages of his grandchildren, the construction lasted two years and the Royal Opera was inaugurated on May 16, 1770 at the marriage of Louis XVI of France and Marie-Antoinette of Austria.


The Royal Opera, which Louis-Philippe was painted in red and which, in 1871, had been transformed into a meeting room for the National Assembly and then occupied by the Senate after 1875, was scrupulously restored from 1952 to 1956 and returned to was once again one of the most beautiful theaters in the world, uniting the graces of the Rococo style with the triumphant neoclassicism. It was meant to give an idea of the progress made in the arts under the reign of king Louis XV

This work of Ange-Jacques Gabriel first architect of the king, had made this Royal Opera one of the classic architectural style, with some Baroque reminiscences. Two stone galleries lead to the opera: it was through the gallery on the first floor that the king went there, either by directly gaining his own private box, or by going down the staircase, now destroyed, which led to the Guards Hall, and from there to the foyer and the amphitheater. The floor plan, new for the time, has the shape of a truncated oval, and the traditional boxes are replaced by simple balconies, set back on top of each other, with separations at the support. The proportions are perfect, and one can only admire the elegant colonnade of the third boxes; as for the mirrors that lurk the bottom in which the half-chandeliers are reflected, thus giving the illusion of full luster, they accentuate the lightness of this architecture they seem to launch you to infinity.

The decoration is particularly refined as was usually the case in the court theaters, the Royal Opera could be transformed in twenty-four hours into a large room for the ballroom. A system of winches raised the floor of the parterre to bring it to the level of the amphitheater and the stage, on which was built a second room surrounded by walkable colonnades and adorned with a ceiling. The scene stage of the Royal Opera has exceptional dimensions of 12.70 meters of opening, 29 meters of depth, 31 meters of width and 18 meters of height; make one of the largest of France, thus allowed the representation of operas with great show, requiring a large number of figurations and changes of scenery.


Behind the pit is the amphitheater, in the front row of which are the armchairs of the royal family and the stools of the princes and princesses of blood and duchesses. On the floor of the second lodges, there are three small private lodges that allowed the King to attend the show in a semi-incognito: closed gilt bronze grilles and decorated with exquisite arabesques, they communicate through a small oval living room with the gallery leading to the Grand Apartments. The hall once held more than a thousand seats, and today it has a little over seven hundred; the orchestra pit can accommodate eighty musicians. The foyer, which gives access to the amphitheater, is decorated with statues Apollo, Venus, Abundance and Peace, Youth and Health, Poems lyric, pastoral, epic and dramatic scenes


The stage cage and the technical installations of the Royal Opera have been restored back on September 2009 after two years of work. Concerts and shows have since been regularly scheduled by Château de Versailles Spectacles, the private subsidiary of the Palace/Museum of Versailles, which operates the Royal Opera as well as the Royal Chapel and the Big water musicals   day and night times. Hope you can see this beauty and historical jewel of France.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Chateau de Versailles on the Royal Opera

Official Chateau de Versailles Spectacles on the Royal Opera

And there you go, I did justice to this jewel of the most beautiful palace in the world, a must to see while in France. I just had luck to lived nearby and use it even as my jogging and walking trails on weekends, every by the region I stop by memories forever. Hope you enjoy the Royal Opera and everything in it and around it, all worth your time and money. Pictures are from May 2019.

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

ps. disclaimer, the first photo is mine showing the location of the Opera Royal, the others are from and by the Royal Opera not mine as photos are not allowed. Cheers



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