I love visiting the Palace of Versailles. Often the crowds can be a bit daunting but there is nothing better than letting the history of the time come alive in these beautiful rooms with their over the top, opulent decororation.
This time, we decided to go behind the scenes and visit the King’s private apartments. Our guide, Deborah Anthony, had excelled with her tour of the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon as well as Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet, so we were looking forward to this visit.
The interior court of the Palace was looking stunning. The gilt on the roof and balconies had recently been restored and everything was sparkling.

Palace of Versailles
Beautiful Versailles

The Palace of Versailles
Decoration on the buildings

The Palace of Versailles
Detail on the roof

Silhouettes in the waiting room at the Palace of Versailles
Silhouettes in the waiting room

To see the private apartments, you must be accompanied by one of Versailles’s own guides as well as a security guard.
Our guide, Dominic, was extremely knowledgeable. His own personal interest was in the fashion of the time, so he was often pointing little titbits out in the paintings or decorations.
One of the interesting things he mentioned was that after the Revolution, all the furniture and works of art were sold. Whilst some have been returned and gifted back, a lot of the furniture and has been bought back by Versailles. The Friends of Versailles , a group which we happily joined, raises funds for the restoration and purchase of these when they come up for sale.
Guide at the Palace of Versailles
Dominic pointing out Marie Antoinette as a baby in the family portrait

The King's bedroom at the Palace of Versailles
The King's bedroom

In one of Marie Antoinette’s rooms, this beautiful box caught my eye. It was used for storing her babies’ clothes
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The clock room at the Palace of Versailles
The clock room

Both Louis XV and Louis XVI were interested in the sciences
This clock belonging to Louis XV shows the time, the day of the week, the month, the year and the moon’s quarter. It has been designed to last up to 9999!
The planets can be seen revolving around the sun in the chrystal dome on top.
Louis XV clock at the Palace of Versailles
Louis XV clock

The dining room was created originally for Louis XV but used a lot by Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette for their ‘society suppers’. It is called the Porcelain Room not only because of the porcelain on display ( including the paintings) but because each year at Christmas, the King, who owned the Sevres factory, would use it as a showroom where the courtiers could come and buy presents.
The Porcelain Room at the Palace of Versailles
The Porcelain Room

Marie Antoinette's private sitting room at Versailles
Marie Antoinette's private sitting room

Marie Antoinette's Boudoir at Versailles
Marie Antoinette's Boudoir

Louis XVI’s dressing room is entered from a door hidden in his bedchamber. It is quite an extraordinary space lined with wood carving decorated in gilt.
King's Dressing Room at Versailles
King's dressing room

The secret passage from Marie Antoinette's Library
The secret passage from Marie Antoinette's library

Looking at the crowds from behind the scenes at Versailles
Looking at the crowds from behind the scenes

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As we were saying goodbye to Dominic, I gazed at the new modern sculpture at the entrance. Whilst I love modern sculpture, I am not sure that this is the place for it.
What do you think?