On Bastille Day, Versailles is the place to be

Today is Bastille Day in France. Its a national day that celebrates the storming of the Bastille, a Parisian armory and prison, in 1789 and a symbolic event of the French Revolution. The Palace of Versailles is now a major tourist attraction and one of the largest palaces in the world. Once the official residence of the Kings of France, mobs marched on Versailles and carried Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI away to Paris. Ultimately, in 1793, they were led to the guillotine.

Today, tourists pay 13 euros (about $18) to visit the 18,000 square metre palace that has 2,000 windows and 1,250 fireplaces but many visitors will spend today relaxing on the grounds.

“…best bet is to do what Parisians do: pack a picnic (a baguette, brie, foie gras, grapes, salad, chocolate, wine and a blanket, or hotel towels) from the city and head for a shady tree on the far side of the Grand Canal, getting you away from the crowds and into a spot to view from a distance the exquisite rear of the chateau, or “the garden side,” as Voltaire called it” says the Toronto Star.

Best wishes to our friends in France who US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called “a dedicated and enduring partner to the American people” yesterday in a statement commemorating France’s National Day.

Flickr photo by OliverN5