23rd January 2013
The Palace of Versailles should be top of the list for any culture vulture booking cheap flights to Paris, but currently there is even more reason to go, with a rare opportunity to see antiques and artworks which have not been seen there since Louis XVI was in residence.
Versailles was once a sleepy village in the depths of the French countryside. Today, it is a suburb of the Ile de France - its famous royal chateau easily accessible from Paris. The ultimate symbol of L’Ancien Regime, the Palace of Versailles dates from 1624, when it was built as a hunting lodge for Louis XIII. A series of building campaigns created the magnificent structure that stands today.
A Superb New Exhibition
When the French Revolution started in 1789, Louis XVI was forced to flee with the rest of the royal family. Versailles was subsequently emptied of its treasures and, while many of these were replaced when it became a museum in the 19th century, visitors have largely had to use their imaginations to envisage how the Hall of Mirrors and Grand Apartments may have looked before the Revolution.
Now, a superb new exhibition has returned these royal treasures to their rightful place. Titled ‘Versailles and Antiquity’, it examines the unique link between the ancient world and the Palace of the Sun King, which is packed with references to the sun god Apollo and other characters of Greek and Roman mythology. Many artworks are on loan from the Louvre, having not been seen at the chateau since it was sacked in 1789.
The exhibition runs until 17th March 2013, with regular cheap flights to Paris available from Jet2.com.
January 23, 2013 at 09:35
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