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Versailles

Colors of Versailles - traditions, festivals, mentality and lifestyle

When people hear of Versailles, they immediately think of the palace that has become internationally acclaimed as the residence of Louis XIV and as a UNESCO-protected architectural masterpiece. However, Versailles is much more than that. It is a town that was established in the end of the 17th century and is located approximately 10 miles from Paris.
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Initially, it was a small village, but Louis XIV decided to turn it into his residence and so the place got wide avenues, first octagonal squares in France, mansions of the aristocracy, and even a grand church. The French Court had some interesting and unusual traditions that may seem unusual for modern people. For example, the ritual of Grand Couvert or a public dinner, during which the King and Queen of France ate their dinner in front of other people. Only members of the royal family were allowed to seat while other people had to stand the whole dinner.
Louis XIV was particularly fond of this performance, so members of the court had to see the king eat while standing almost every evening. Louis XV wasn’t a big fan of such public dinners and liked a more intimate atmosphere. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette added music to these public dinners, so a special platform for musicians appeared in the eating hall. The court life of that time had many interesting traditions. For example, when someone wanted to talk to the king, they couldn’t just knock on his door. Instead, they were obliged to use their left little finger to scratch on the door gently. They had to keep scratching until the king gave them a permission to enter. This was the reason while many noble people of that time grew the nail of the left little finger longer. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
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Court ladies never held arms of court gentlemen. It was decided vulgar and wasn’t, actually, comfortable because dresses of that time were really wide. Ladies could only use their fingertips to touch a men’s bent arm. The king and the queen had armchairs where they could sit always near them. Other people were not allowed to sit in an armchair at their presence. Other monarchs were the only exception. Closest people to the king, such as his relatives or children, could sit on a chair with a back but no arms. Nobles of the duke/duchess rank were offered a padded stool, and everyone else had to stand.
Dresses were an important part of the court etiquette. Everyone had to dress appropriately, especially for the Grand Couvert. Women put on fancy dresses and men attached swords to their outfits. If someone had to sword, he could even rent one in Versailles. Finally, in order to enter or leave a room, nobility had to wait for an usher to open the door. As only ushers were allowed to do that, sometimes there were comical situations when people had to wait patiently near the closed doors.
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Nowadays, visitors of Versailles are welcome to attend a number of events and festivals that are usually connected with the estate. Those who visit Versailles in summer have an opportunity to see fabulous Fountain Shows. Gorgeous Versailles fountains have their water spouting to the rhythm of music. As a rule, this beautiful show takes place every weekend starting from the end of March until the end of October, but there are some extra dates on weekdays. In order to see the Musical Fountain Show, visitors need to have a 1 or 2 day pass to Versailles. Travelers with free admission will have to buy a ticket to the show at the entrance to the garden. Children under 6 can enter freely.
The palace regularly organizes various events for its guests, and the European Night of Museums is one of them. It is an amazing opportunity to see the Royal Chapel at night and walk in the Hall of Mirrors. These architectural masterpieces were completed in the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century, and are some of the boldest projects created during the reign of Louis XIV.
Versailles - guide chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

City tours, excursions and tickets in Versailles and surroundings

Reference information
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas near Versailles
♥   Cathédrale Saint-Louis, Versailles, 0.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Cathédrale Sainte-Geneviève et Saint-Maurice, Nanterre, 11.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Cathédrale Saint-Louis des Invalides, Paris, 14.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Chapelle Notre-Dame de la Médaille Miraculeuse, Paris, 15 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basilique Sainte-Clotilde et Sainte-Valère, Paris, 15.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Cathédrale Saint-Volodymyr-le-Grand, Paris, 15.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Cathédrale Notre-Dame du Liban, Paris, 16.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all castles
Survived castles around Versailles
♥   Castle 'Château de La Madeleine' Yvelines, 12 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Château de la Reine Blanche' Seine-et-Marne, 16.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Château de Le Louvre' Paris, 16.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Château de La Conciergerie' Paris, 16.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Château de The Temple' Paris, 18.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Château de The Bastille' Paris, 18.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Château de Beynes' Yvelines, 19.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
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Colors of Versailles in photos

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Traditions and festivals in cities around Versailles

Cityguide on traditions, mentality and lifestyle of people in Versailles. Learn the best periods to visit Versailles to discover its soul - authentic festivals, events and celebrations. We will also reveal the interesting habits, attitude towards the world and to tourists in Versailles.
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