I wasn't sure what to expect. I've seen photographs of it my entire life but I was totally blown away.Blown away not just by the sumptuousness of every detail: the gilding, the beautiful mirror, the huge crowds, but mainly by the beautiful light.The room is immensely long, 239.5' to be exact, and that doesn't include the adjoining Salon of War and the Salon of Peace on either end.
The light comes from the tall french doors facing the gardens and is reflected into the 17 mirror clad archways opposite. All of the crystal, highly polished marble and gilding don't hurt either!
At the time of the halls construction in 1678, mirrors were one of the most expensive items to own. Meant as a gathering place at the palace, the mirrors were not just a decorative item but also meant to impress all those waiting for a glimpse of the king.
I was impressed.
As you can see, so was everyone else! Everyone was jockeying for elbow room to take pictures!
The hall was designed by the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart for Louis XIV; would you expect anything less from either man?
Beautiful candelabras and statues line the hallway, reflected ten fold by the mirror.
The views over the gardens are spectacular: I could have spent all day long in this one room.
I kept pinching myself: am I really here?
Towards the end of my visit in this great room, I started to pay closer attention to the mirror.
Does it look ok to you? Hazy maybe?
Not just old, but there is GRAFFITI on the mirror! At first I was outraged!!!
Then I started to read what was scratched onto the glass. Most of the inscriptions left behind are from 100-200 years ago. Historical graffiti!