I’ve been going through photos from last fall, specifically of our trip to Paris. I had forgotten that I have a small habit (o.k. big habit) of taking pictures through windows to the outside. Some people like doors. My mother is one of these. I also take pictures of cool doors when I go places just for her. But windows from the inside are what mesmerize me. And there were some grand ones in Paris and especially in Versailles.
I don’t know what others think of windows, but for me they are the soul of the house. A glimpse in to another life, a way to watch the life outside. A two dimensional portal that is beautiful, wonderful and often hides mysteries beyond. I’m drawn to what goes on outside and inside those glass dimensions. I found myself wondering what Marie Antoinette thought as she no doubt looked upon the vast fortune that lay before her at Versailles. Did she compare it to Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna that was her childhood home? Both are magnificent, but I found it interesting that she spent a great deal of her time in the Queens Hamlet that she created for herself on the property of the Palace in Versailles. It was here she doffed the clothing of a royal in favor of more casual attire, and here where she could relax and be more down to earth. According to the tour, this was one of her favorite places to be, where when she looked out the window she saw sprawling gardens, chickens, pigs, cows, small ponds and creeks. A huge contrast to the formal gardens closer to the palace.
Whatever her likes or dislikes, the windows of the palace are some of the most beautiful pieces of architecture around. Windows that hide not only wealth a lavishness, but also must have served to conceal a great deal of human emotion and drama during one of the most turbulent times in French history.