10 Reasons Why I Would Never Live at Versailles

The Palace of Versailles is the pride and joy of France. It’s grand, excessive, and fit for a King and Queen (that is, King Louis XIII, Louis XV, and Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette). As usual, when I’m in another house, or palace, I mentally rearrange the furniture, nitpick at the decor, and picture myself living in this new space. Versailles is one of the most marvelous, extravagant places you could ever live, but here are 10 reasons why I would never live here.

1. Way Too Many Visitors

Despite the 700 rooms, which would nicely hold all my personal guests- friends, family, and various couch surfers- I would not like having to push my way through my own house every day. With over 3 million visitors each year and long lines forming early in the morning, I would feel like an overwhelmed host on more days than not.

2. Excessive Gold Exterior

Versailles lacks modesty, obviously. Nothing says “I’m richer than you” like a gilded, wrought iron gate, ornate gold roofing, and detailed, gold window balconies.  The “less is more” philosophy certainly isn’t alive here, as evidenced by the excess of gold and statue-happy walls.

3. Overly Patterned Rooms

Frightening floral patterns along with fringe, tassels, feathers, and velvet overwhelm almost every room. It’s just so… 17th century.

4. That Green Wallpaper…

Bright green damask wallpaper…. just, no. The faux marble panelling underneath doesn’t help the cause. This room would need to be redone immediately.

5. Neck Aches from Overly Extravagant Ceilings

When your ceilings are covered with murals in warm, rich tones, you walk through the whole house looking up. At least I would! That means serious neck aches. Plus, chances are high that while you’re walking around admiring your gold crown molding, you’ll stub your toe on the foot of a gold-plated piece of furniture.

6. Chandelier Overkill

One chandelier in a room is tasteful; it becomes the center of attention and often pulls the room together. But 5 rows of over 50 chandeliers? Out of control. Not to mention, the sunlight pouring in through the beautifully arched windows bounces off all the crystals hanging from the chandeliers, which just isn’t ideal- nobody should have to wear sunglasses in their own home.

7. A Severely Manicured Landscape

The poor trees in the gardens have been manicured so fiercely they fail to look natural. Hello, perfect little green gumdrops trees from a fantasy land. The Parterre looks equally whimsical.

8. Extensive Walking

As if there’s not enough walking required to get through the palace (there’s over 700,000 square feet of floor space), walking through the gardens to get to the Grand Canal (where I would take a boat ride and feed the swans) takes about 20 minutes. A walk from the palace to Marie’s Estate, which is about 1.5 km away- now that’s another story…. there would definitely need to be golf cart involved.

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9. Statues That Will Scare You in the Night

In the dark of the night, when all the visitors are gone, I can’t imagine having to walk down these huge, statue-lined hallways without freaking myself out a bit. The shadows of statues may play tricks with the mind…

10. Sheer Size

Who in the WORLD needs this much space? Versailles is Europe’s largest château and holds the Wikipedia title of “Worlds Largest Royal Domain” coming in at 87,728,720 square feet or an astounding 2,014 acres, gardens included (god, I would hope so). I would never, ever want to own this much of anything.

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Versailles is arguably an icon of monstrous greed, of wealth and royalty taken too far. It is both exemplary and abominable in its extravagance; I was in simultaneous awe and disgust for my entire visit. If you’re in Paris, I wouldn’t miss it. It’s an incredible standing piece of French architecture with a valid, poignant history.

Getting There and Getting Tickets:

From Paris, take a half hour ride on the RER C, and get off at Versailles Château- Rive Gauche Station. Right across from the train station, I bought the Versailles Passport ticket, which includes admission to every part of the palace, including the gardens and Marie Antoinette’s Estate. (Although, just the palace ticket would have been plenty for 1 day.)Pay 25€, and follow the herd to the golden gates!

Have you been to Versailles? What did you think?!

18 COMMENTS

  1. bournehungry | 16th Dec 14

    You’re hilarious. Something tells me that, if given the opportunity to live at Versailles, you could handle it — with a golf cart and very limited tourist hours!

    • Words of a Wanderer | 17th Dec 14

      I guess could handle it… but ONLY with a gold cart and limited tourists… haha 😉

  2. JoAnna | 17th Dec 14

    This is awesome! I was just in Versailles last month. I thought it was so amazing to see the place where Marie Antoinette once lived, especially because I love the Sofia Coppola movie. But you make some totally valid points 😉 I can’t imagine walking around the grounds every day! I had my step counter on, and I walked over 10 miles TOTAL in Versailles, from the train station, all around the palace and grounds, and back. But… I would totally live on Marie Antoinette’s little farm! That was my favorite part!

    • Words of a Wanderer | 17th Dec 14

      Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it! I haven’t seen the movie about Marie yet, but I really want to! WOW- 10 miles! Thats a productive visit! I’m not sure if I went that far, but my legs and back were certainly feeling it by the time I left! I didn’t see her little farm though!! I saw her Estate, but didn’t make it to the Queen’s Hamlet and farm area, dang it. Next time!

  3. Dave Cole (@cooksipgo) | 17th Dec 14

    Very funny post and salient points! I definitely could not live with the green wallpaper or those statues – too much nighttime creepiness from those things.

    • Words of a Wanderer | 17th Dec 14

      Thank you! The wallpaper would have to go…. and something would definitely need to be done with the hallways to make them suitable for nighttime! haha

  4. Revati Victor (Different Doors) | 17th Dec 14

    Hahah love this post. Such a fun way to put out your experiences/ impressions. We had similiar thoughts on Versailles. The opulence was quite vulgar, but when you’re the king/ queen, I guess everything goes. Did you get a chance to get to the Queen’s hamlet? It’s quite a distance from the main buildings but you can rent a golf cart so you dont have to walk all the way!

    • Words of a Wanderer | 17th Dec 14

      haha, I’m glad you loved it! And I’m glad I’m not the only one who felt this way! I didn’t get a chance to go to the Queens Hamlet!! Since my trip a few people have mentioned that specific area- I should have gone! Maybe it would have given me a reason to want to live at Versailles. 😉

  5. 2foodtrippers | 18th Dec 14

    Not to mention the electric bill…

    • Words of a Wanderer | 18th Dec 14

      hahah! Oh my goodness, I can’t even imagine!!!!

  6. Stephen Parry | 19th Dec 14

    Haha what a fun and interesting post. I have not been to Versailles but it is on the list of places to go.

    • Words of a Wanderer | 6th Jan 15

      Thank you! It’s DEFINITELY worth a visit- even if it is a bit over the top! haha

  7. Very Hungry Explorer (@VHungryExplorer) | 19th Dec 14

    Great post! You’re right, I love Versailles, but I couldn’t live there either – plus can you imagine having to clean it!!

    • Words of a Wanderer | 6th Jan 15

      Oh man- wayyy to much vacumming and dusting! haha

  8. João Sá | 20th Dec 14

    Ahah, this post is hilarious ! I’ve never been to Paris, because I’m not really into big cities, but I guess Versailles wouldn’t my on my top 100 choice as a house to live in ahah

    • Words of a Wanderer | 6th Jan 15

      Haha, glad you enjoyed it! And thats interesting- so what are your favorite (smaller) cities?

      • João Sá | 6th Jan 15

        My favorite small city is no doubt Zakopane. it’s in the polish tatra mountains! One of the loveliest places I’ve ever been in 🙂

      • Words of a Wanderer | 9th Jan 15

        I’ll be honest- I’ve never heard of it, but now I’m curious about it! Looks GORGEOUS in pictures!!

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