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An Intimate View into Versailles

by habituallychic

09 . 26 . 11
What surprised me about visiting the Château de Versailles was the openness.  Windows and doors welcomed in the warm September air and it wasn’t at all as closed off as many American monuments would be. This is even more amazing after you realize how much restoration all of the buildings have seen over the years.  Robert Polidori chronicled much of it with his camera in the 1980’s including many rooms not open to visitors.  The photos are hauntingly beautiful so much so that you can almost picture Marie-Anotinette lounging in her bed.  The resulting book, Parcours Museologique Revisite, has been out for a few years but I just learned of it this week.  It’s definitely worth a look, as is Versailles itself.

Photos by Robert Polidori

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  1. JWC September 26, 2011 | 11:03 pm

    Versailles has always been a favorite… I’ve never heard of this book but I will definitely be adding it to my current wish-list. These photographs are striking and incredibly beautiful… an interesting and uncommon view of this world treasure

  2. BluBabesCreate September 27, 2011 | 12:31 am

    My mom has been going to Versailles since the 70’s and some of the staff remember her each and every time. When she took me in 2000 we went on a private tour of unseen and closed off parts of Versailles, at least to the public anyway. /i am still so fascinated by some parts of the modern plumbing and the ceramic pipes. Such a funny thing to remember.

  3. thebeneblog.com September 27, 2011 | 12:58 am

    I visited Versailles myself this summer, it is a memorable place. The extensive detail is amazing…the gilded woodwork, beautiful paintings and gardens are all so beautiful, you just don’t see this type of work anymore. A place not to be missed if you are in France. If you are in the design field it is very inspirational.

  4. Carl Barnett September 27, 2011 | 1:03 am

    These photos are like documents of a hidden moment. An exposed intimate moment. They add a very interesting layer to the setting and to its history. The old meeting the new. What an interesting dialogue that would be ! You are right, the openness is very striking. ~best

  5. Jennifer C. Webb September 27, 2011 | 1:19 am

    love this post, heading to Paris this October! Versailles is a favorite

  6. Renée Finberg September 27, 2011 | 2:04 am

    sweet and dreamy

  7. John J. Tackett September 27, 2011 | 2:21 am

    I loved the photos!

    But it is interesting that you mention the open windows. Not that I noticed it so much at Versailles, but museums in France are not air-conditioned and quite dusty as a result.

    __ The Devoted Classicist

  8. Teresa at Splendid Sass September 27, 2011 | 2:37 am

    Beautiful, Heather.

  9. Karena September 27, 2011 | 3:07 am

    Heather so much intricate and delicate detail! Gorgeous!


    Art by Karena

  10. Blue Turtle September 27, 2011 | 3:29 am

    Thanks for sharing this article. I never been so close to Versailles than this blog. Beautiful!

    J. Harp @ Interior Decors

  11. Drink More Champagne September 27, 2011 | 5:20 am

    The openness is something I notice about almost every European museum and estate I’ve visited. I think it’s wonderful. Even museums, particularly in Italy, often throw their windows open. I don’t know how good it is for the art, but it’s great for visitors.

  12. Lindsay Hair Interiors September 27, 2011 | 10:11 am

    What a great post and very poignant as I returned from Versailles last week. I was amazed and inspired at the beauty. I invite you to enjoy some of my interior pictures tomorrow at http://www.lindsayhair.blogspot.com.

  13. The Caledonian Mining Expedition Company September 27, 2011 | 10:36 am

    What spectacular images… great post. Thank you!

  14. mrschatelaine September 27, 2011 | 10:45 am

    There’s a very interesting exhibit at Versailles at the moment, mixing real design pieces into the Versailles atmosphere. It’s almost like if there was still a King of France and he really loved Scando design from the 1950s-present. Just so cool! Versailles as you’ve never seen it!

    xox Mrs. Châtelaine in Paris

  15. Picture of Elegance September 27, 2011 | 1:03 pm

    Amazing!love it.

  16. ArchitectDesign™ September 27, 2011 | 1:22 pm

    How weird -I seriously just bought this trio of books on Amazon and got them last week! LOL SERIOUSLY! I was planning on going through them this week now that I’m home.

  17. Marissa Waddell September 27, 2011 | 2:52 pm

    My life’s dream is to visit Versailles… and I’m going at Thanksgiving! I’m sure the gardens won’t be as magnificent in the Winter, but I think I’ll be totally okay with all the amazing architecture and interiors to drool over.


  18. Kristina Gulino September 27, 2011 | 5:13 pm

    Seriously, that blue wallpaper is amazing. Must have been awesome to see in person!

  19. vmacandcheese.com September 27, 2011 | 11:18 pm

    When I spent almost two weeks in Paris last summer, Versailles was one of my favorite days. You really can’t imagine how special it feels until you’re there. The gardens, especially, are so wonderful to get lost in. Le sigh!

  20. penelopebianchi September 30, 2011 | 5:36 pm

    fabulous post! Love it!