“Random encounters with the unusual” is a repository for the oddities that me and Mrs J have encountered on our travels, which we find interesting or amusing in some way. Have a look, maybe you will find something interesting or amusing herein.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Weirdness at Versailles

The below photos show the popular tourist destination of the Palace of Versailles, which lies about 12 miles southwest of Paris. The palace began life in the1600’s and became the centre of France’s political power in 1682 when Louis XIV moved to Versailles. The palace remained the seat of power until 1789, when the French Royal Family eventually moved back to Paris.

Of all the places that I have visited on my travels, most have left me feeling under-whelmed. The Palace of Versailles however (well more specifically the gardens of the palace), is the only place to date that has really made me say "wow". When you first stand at the back of the palace and look downhill at the ornate gardens and the lake which stretches seemingly to the horizon, it is an impressive sight.

I am not the first person to be awe-stuck by the gardens however.

On the 10th August 1901 two female academics Charlotte Anne Moberly (1846–1937) and Eleanor Jourdain (1863–1924) visited the Palace and they had a very odd encounter during their tour of the gardens. After touring the palace, the women decided to walk through the gardens and they soon became disorientated. While trying to gather their bearings the pair reportedly experienced a “timeslip”, encountering buildings, a bridge and people (including Marie Antoinette) which did not seemingly exist in 1910. It is reported that on subsequent visits to the palace the pair could not re-trace the path that they had taken, nor locate the landmarks that they had seen, leading to the question did they really experience a step back in time or were they simply mistaken?

Palace courtyard.
Palace courtyard.
Palace rear aspect.
"Oval Buddha".
First view of Palace gardens.
The lake.
The lake.
Main fountain.
Citrus garden.

Pictures, France (October 2010).

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