We rode a double decker bus about 10 miles outside of Paris to the Palace of Versailles, the principal royal residence of France from 1682 until the start of the French Revolution in 1789.
It began as a hunting lodge and was expanded by Louis XIV. The king considered the gardens to be just as important as the Palace and spent 40 years planting and designing them, covering more than 800 hectare. When Louis XIV died in 1715, Versailles encompassed 721,182 square feet, with 700 rooms, more than 2,000 windows, 1,250 fireplaces and 67 staircases. Its most famous room is the Hall of Mirrors. Mirrors were a rarity, so to have a room of 357 of them was a show of extreme wealth.
In 1789, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette learned of the storming of the Bastille in Paris while they were at the Palace. Eventually, a crowd of several thousand men and women, protesting the high price and lack of bread, marched from the markets of Paris to Versailles. They took weapons from the city armory, besieged the Palace, and forced the King, Royal family and the members of the National Assembly to return with them to Paris the following day.
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