"L'Etat C'est Moi"

SEPT. 4 – VERSAILLES – Today we got to see firsthand just how powerful one man’s ego can be. When Louis XIV said “L’Etat C’est Moi” (“I am the State”), he wasn’t just making an idle boast. The palace he built at Versailles (if I can dare to use such a paltry word as “palace” to describe it) was truly fit for the greatest of kings. When Michelle and I debated about whether we could do a late trip to Versailles after getting out of the house after 12:00 noon, I looked at the map of the palace grounds. Compared to the size of the gardens, the palace building itself looked miniscule, so I figured we’d have no problem. I vastly underestimated Louis’ ego.

When we arrived, we were as awed as the nobles must have been when they came to pay their respects to their Sun King. The place was gigantic (photo), an architectural behemoth larger that the Louvre. And knowing the palace itself was dwarfed by the legendary gardens (photo), we knew we had bitten off more than we could chew. Louis was indeed larger than life.

Once we realized this, however, we accepted the fact that we’d have to come back another time to fully enjoy the gardens. We concentrated on seeing the palace interior, including the famous Hall of Mirrors (where the Treaty of Versailles was signed, which brought World War I to a close). Awe-inspiring, impressive and downright gaudy were all adjectives which could describe what we saw, and we guess those same adjectives could apply to the Sun King himself equally well.

Next: The World's Greatest Museum

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