France, Travel, World Heritage Site
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World Heritage Site Tuesday: Chateau De Versailles

What do you value, work hard for? If you were to become extremely wealthy and powerful, what would you do with the riches and power you’ve suddenly come across?

I was thinking about the word “extravagance” as our Contiki tour group was going through Chateau de Versailles, a nearby suburb of Paris.

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Some Contiki tour mates approaching the palace.

 

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Historically, the palace was a symbol of absolute political power for the royal family starting in the reign of Louis XIV. It has now become a symbol of status and wealth.

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Detailed frescoes adorn the ceilings.

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One of the extravagant bedrooms.

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It was interesting to see how royals lived and learn how the palace is still being used in modern times for dignitaries. It was also interesting reflecting and asking oneself, would you want something like this as a lifestyle? Or, would you be happier with the simple joys of life — perhaps with sporadic stays at royal palace-like places every now and then — surrounded with fulfillment, or at least with the search for it? But then again maybe daydreaming of a royal lifestyle while at Versailles is inevitable, and the luxury of being able to daydream while traveling is a great gift in and of itself.

One travel tip: if you are to visit Chateau De Versailles, make sure you allow plenty of time. It is a popular tourist destination and is very crowded. It took us a lot of time touring the palace with our guide.

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