Versailles: should I go?

Old Jun 8th, 2014, 01:28 PM
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It would be a shame to end the story at Versailles. I found it fascinating to visit the Conciergerie, the queen's last earthly home:
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Old Jun 8th, 2014, 02:57 PM
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the town of Versailles is also a treat that is vastly overlooked by the 800 pound gorilla of the palace itself, by any reckoning one of the Wonders of the Modern World (meaning not classical world) - especially the old dilpomatic part of Versailles just to the south of the main palace itself - here are old 'hotels' where dignitaries to the Court of Louis the Last, who made Versailles his seat of government to escape the revolting rabble in Paris proper - kind of forced out here to a seemingly secure retreat. Not! As it turns out!

But the place where Benjamin Franklin once stayed when ambassador or whatever to the court and other royal relics - really a quaint olf square there lined by ancient facades the likes of which you rarely find in a compact area in Paris itself - thanks to Hausmann and his bulldozers of the time that knocked everything old down - except the Marais - it seems.

Right opposite RER C train terminus or just about the the Versailles Tourist Office (Syndicat d' Iniative or S I (sp?) - and they have or had last time I were there walking tour maps of this overlooked area.

Plus the modern Versailles is in many ways a sweet regional town - with a nice outdoor market place redolent of the old Les Halles in Paris and a lively town center.

Make Versailles a whole day - a fun day with discoveries you never dreamt of! Some folks even like to base in this leaft suburban town and day trip to Paris from here.
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Old Jun 8th, 2014, 03:42 PM
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There's also the Potager du Roi, put I suspect this won't be that sort of comprehensive visit. Just a hunch.
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Old Jun 8th, 2014, 05:59 PM
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Denisea: I've read that one twice! So fascinating. I'll have to refresh before I leave

MmePerdu: the Conciergerie was one of my stops on my last trip. I was very eerie and sad to me. And spooky! Well worth it!

PalenQ: I will talk to the fam about making a full day of it. I'll do a little research, too. I must say, it sounds interesting
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Old Jun 15th, 2014, 10:59 AM
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Have a look online at Chateau Vaux-Le-Vicomte as an alternative to Versailles. The same artist, architect and landscape architect were hired to design the castle and grounds.

It's as beautiful, but smaller in scale and less crowded, so less tiring to visit. Having made a day trip from Paris to both, I preferred it to Versailles.
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Old Jun 15th, 2014, 11:14 AM
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Whatever you think about the palace, the gardens and fountains are so beautiful and memorable, etc. when coupled with music (and light on some evenings)!!

SO glad to learn you will be "forced" to go with your parents -- and I do hope you get to hear the music too.

Let me tell you about me, Versailles, and my mother:

Had already been to Versailles in the 60s but went back with my husband, and they had introduced the musical (and light, at night) accompaniments to the fountains. I was standing in front of one of the larger fountains and hearing Bach, and I thought how MUCH my mother would absolutely have loved it! Began to plot how I could get her there and realized her time for travel had long passed, and she'd never see/hear this. She died with in a couple of years, and I'm still sad about what I didn't get to share with her.

Glad you're going. Please tell us about it on your return.
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Old Jun 15th, 2014, 11:15 AM
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(unedited - sorry - browser has hiccups.)
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Old Jun 15th, 2014, 07:27 PM
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HKP: Thanks for sharing that. I'm sure I'll love Versailles. I'll definitely update with my thoughts; maybe I'll make a Paris trip report out of it!
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Old Jun 17th, 2014, 10:05 AM
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I don't see the OP as a question about Versailles or not Versailles, but one of family/group dynamics. I agree with the poster who considers Versailles part of Paris, so a trip from St. Michel to Versailles isn't much different in total time than one to Sacre Coeur, maybe ten minutes each way. Ultimately, the OP's father made a decision that included her/him so the "family" portion of the trip appears to be more important to him at least. I believe you'll enjoy the trip to the Palace, if for nothing else being with your family.

Good luck and enjoy!
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 02:37 AM
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I really hope you will visit Versailles. This is maybe the most beautiful thing i saw when i was in paris. Even though this place is full of tourists, you definitively should go there !
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 05:00 AM
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Are you crazy?? Of course you must go and enjoy!! One of my most wonderful memories of France!! Book tickets on line, get there at opening and don't wait in the queue!
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 01:37 PM
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I agree with the last two posters - Versailles is one of the top if not the top sight for me in Paris after bien sur La Tour Eiffel!

And yes it is in Paris and as someone sagely said above you could travel longer from inside Paris proper to say the Eiffel Tower as you could from Paris via RER to the Palace of Versailles, by all reckoning one of the Wonders of the Modern World (as opposed to classical world - anyone doubting that is just whistling Dixie IMO.
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Old Jun 20th, 2014, 04:15 AM
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Goodness, I have to say, I never expected such a unanimous vote for Versailles. I had heard mixed reviews about it in the past. I'm starting to feel quite excited to see it now!

apersuader65: I think you make a good point about family dynamic. I get along really well with my parents and sister; I couldn't really ask for better relationships with any of them. We enjoy each other's company. And the four of us haven't been on a family trip all together since I was 10 and we went to Florida. I'm 30 now! I think you're right: the focus of this trip should be more on spending time with them. Besides, I intend to visit Paris many times in the future!
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Old Jun 20th, 2014, 12:22 PM
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I never expected such a unanimous vote for Versailles.>

Well the mixed reviews may have been because the actual tour of the palace can be very mobbed - sardine city at times - but of the palace itself and especially the gardens and parks surrounding nearly everyone likes having seen it.
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Old Jun 20th, 2014, 12:35 PM
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I would go for the shared experience with your family. I understand your reluctance to leave Paris and we didn't go to Versailles on our first trips to Paris. I have no desire to return but think it will be a special memory for your family.
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Old Jun 20th, 2014, 12:51 PM
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Your groups should go wherever it wants to go. If you don't want to go to Versailles and they do, there is nothing wrong with splitting up for that day. Everyone wants to say that they've been there.

If I every go again, it will be for the gardens and the out buildings. I am not taking the main tour ever again, but then I've taken it a few times.
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