The light pouring through these windows was mystical, and encouraged meditation and prayer. We have a m... illion travel buddies enjoying us on YouTube. Of course, there was no democracy: just one king and his ministers — people like Nicolas Fouquet — who ran the show. In the late 1600s, Louis XIV — shown here with his capable hand literally on the rudder of state — was creating the first modern, centralized government. Rick: This is expensive, but you could say it's a good value because it's more than just a meal — it's a lifelong experience. The Little Hamlet was an actual working farm with a dairy, a water mill, and domestic animals. There is no lounge, but the backyard terrace compensates well when the weather agrees. And wherever you are in Chartres, its massive cathedral seems to loom overhead. Side-tripping from Paris, we'll visit the palace at Versailles, Chartres Cathedral, and the châteaux of Vaux-le-Vicomte and Fontainebleau. Greece Versailles is the palace other palaces were modeled after, the one many tried to outdo — but none succeeded. One of the most fascinating is Fontainebleau. Rick Steves, America's leading authority on European travel, returns to transport viewers to the continent's bustling cities, quaint villages and picturesque countryside. Versailles was designed to be the personal temple of this god on earth, decorated with statues and symbols of Apollo, of the sun, and of Louis himself. "Side Trips from Paris: Kings and Nobles Gone Wild." Take a stroll over the ornamental moat. Versailles offers three blockbuster sights. Whether or not you are a fan of Rick Steves, he now has a series of videos on Youtube for travel to various locations as well as one on packing lights. Rick produces a public television series (Rick Steves' Europe), a public radio show (Travel with Rick Steves), and an app and podcast (Rick Steves Audio Europe); writes a bestselling series of guidebooks and a nationally syndicated newspaper column; organizes guided tours that take thousands of travelers to Europe … And from the palace, guests would gaze awe-struck at Louis' amazing gardens. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Paris' booming elite class made this area Europe's château heartland. Travel as a Political Act, England & Wales Louis bestows an olive branch on Europe as his queen cradles their baby twin daughters. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. This ultimate royal palace is all about this man: the ultimate divine monarch, Louis XIV. Wow. An intriguing part of your visit is a chance to climb through the attic for a peek at the timbers and the structure of the roof. Scandinavia It seems every king, queen, and emperor since has loved this place, most notably Napoleon Bonaparte. While today's crowds are tourists, 300 years ago, this courtyard was a very different scene. They'd flit from games to parties to amorous rendezvous in their sedan-chair taxis. His daily life was a series of symbolic rituals. Smart travelers avoid weekends, come late in the day, and use a museum pass to skip the ticket line. In "The Book of Chartres" — as some nickname the church — the text is the sculpture and windows, and its binding is the architecture. His second wife, Empress Marie-Louise, provided what he called "a royal womb.". Paris is magnificent, but it's also super-sized, crowded, and fast-paced. Somewhat like bankers and financiers of today, these people controlled the workings of the economy, and amassed unfathomable wealth. But we'll cover the châteaux of the Loire in another episode. Rick: That's right. Rick: France's ruling elite became dangerously out of touch and detached from the grinding reality of its people's daily lives. Once mighty, now domesticated, dukes and barons actually competed to see who would hold the candle while Louis slipped into his royal jammies. Rick Steves Paris 2017 - Ebook written by Rick Steves, Steve Smith, Gene Openshaw. This time, we're sticking closer to Paris. Versailles may be most travelers' first choice for its sheer historic importance, but Vaux-le-Vicomte is just flat-out ravishing, offering visitors a harmony of architecture, interior decor, and garden design that you won't find anywhere else. He ruled for about 70 year and he was the perfect embodiment of the absolute monarch. Ninety-nine out of 100 of your dinners, you'll forget; you won't forget this one. Once king, the massive expansion began. A tent-like room is dedicated to Napoleon at war, with his small but iconic battle coat and hat, field-cot, and first-class camp gear. Bonjour, I'm Rick Steves, back with more of the Best of Europe. Rick produces a best-selling guidebook series, a public television series, and a public radio show, and organizes small-group tours that take over 30,000 travelers to Europe annually. It captures the spirit of the 13th century — the so called "Age of Faith" — like no other church. Explore the culture, romance, and history of Paris with this bestselling comprehensive guide Rick Steves Paris by Rick Steves - Books - Hachette Australia Your cart Right? Rick Steves is America's most respected authority on European travel. Steve: I understand, but the rarer it is — within reason — the more the flavor comes out. The nave is vast — over 400 feet long, and the widest in France. Daily Dose of Europe: Paris’ Sainte-Chapelle Notre-Dame has been on everyone’s mind over the last year. French was the lingua franca. For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, I see it as the growing pains of democracy. Chartres is an easy day trip from Paris. The château started small — just the middle stretch of this grand facade. Watch Latest: Egypt’s Nile, Alexandria, and Luxor ... rivals Paris — we head for Chamonix, in the shadow of Europe’s tallest peak: Mont Blanc. Unless you take a guided tour, everyone — including holders of advance tickets and passes — must go through the often slow security checkpoint at the Château's Royal Gate entrance (longest lines 10:00–12:00). Then, angels gently whisk her upward, so she can sit on the throne with Jesus in paradise, where she's flanked by angels and crowned Queen of Heaven. The remarkable cohesiveness of the carvings and stained glass, and the unity of the architecture, are due to the fact that nearly the entire church was rebuilt in just 30 years —a blink of an eye for cathedral building. Rick: So, now, you've got seafood, but we're in the middle of France. We have lots of exciting new videos on the way (like TV specials on Egypt and the Alps). All this royal, noble, and imperial extravagance, and the resulting political upheaval ,is not necessarily a bad thing. Posted on October 20, 2020 October 20, 2020 by Rick Steves Daily Dose of Europe: Monet’s “Water Lilies” Monet’s “Water Lilies” float serenely in two pond-shaped rooms in a Paris museum. A big pool and the restaurant's vegetable garden lie below the château. So, she built this rustic fantasy. Paris glitters with Old Regime elegance — royal parks, gilded bridges, noble mansions, and, of course, the biggest palace in all of Europe: the Louvre. France — for centuries, the richest country in Europe — is strewn with lavish palaces, châteaux, and mansions. Like our other Pocket guides, Pocket Paris is smaller than the complete guidebook and in full color (but still offers our best sightseeing advice and a handful of self-guided city … Europe for Foodies As if to encourage the fun, Venus sends down a canopy of garlands to ensnare mortals in delicious amour. Italy Just What You Need: Streetwise City Maps zoom in on what matters in the heart of each city: clearly marked streets, sights and public transportation routes.There is a handy street index as well. She longed for the simple life of a peasant — not the hard labor of real peasants, who sweated and starved all around her — but a fairytale world of simple country pleasures. Mirrors were a great luxury at the time, and this long hall was astounding. The royal bedroom faced the rising sun. Ah! RICK STEVES ’ EUROPE: French Alps And Lyon Stream now or tune in Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020 at 4 p.m. & 10:30 p.m. on KPBS TV Thursday, November 5, 2020 The gardens stretch far beyond the palace, but their main axis runs straight through its center. Games were part of Louis' political strategy. The dining room is splendid and a relaxing place to splurge…and feel good about it (reservations required). And with the setting summer sun the grounds are a delight. Portugal Please support local businesses in your community by picking up a copy from your favorite bookstore, or you can find it at my online Travel Store . Bavarian Alps, Germany: The Zugspitze - Rick Steves’ Europe Travel Guide - … He called himself the "Sun King" because he gave life and warmth to all he touched. Though getting to Vaux-le-Vicomte requires more effort, it's an absolute joy to tour. It's duck for me, and for Steve, the lamb, each served with delicate French sauces. Located in a huge forest, with magnificent gardens and no urban sprawl in sight, Vaux-le-Vicomte gives me more than a twinge of palace envy. It's a long series of lavish rooms, each with its own theme, and with every inch sumptuously decorated. It provided an ideal refuge — away from the sniping politics, strict etiquette, and 24/7 scrutiny of official court life. To skip the ticket-buying line, buy tickets or passes in advance, or book a guided tour. The "domesticated" aristocracy lived a life of almost enforced idleness. Throughout Europe, when you said "the king," you were referring to the French king — Louis XIV. Thanks for joining us! Steve: Yeah, isn't that great? Paris Travel Guide by Rick Steves For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, see our FAQ . To turn his Corsican blood blue, he married a Habsburg. Most of these luxurious getaways began small — as hunting lodges — and then grew. There is stately Renaissance, such as this fine hall, which dates from 1528. A newer annex offers four contemporary rooms (sleeping up to three each), with lofts, terraces, and views of the castle. But if you follow my tips, a trip here during even the busiest times is manageable: Ideally, buy your ticket or pass before arriving at Versailles. Imagine servants running around delivering secret messages and roast legs of lamb. Steve: I like that: the terroir. Since 1973, Rick Steves has spent about four months a year exploring Europe. Steve: Paris might as well be on the coast. Versailles celebrated Man, rather than God, by elevating Louis XIV to almost godlike status. Until next time, keep on travelin'. And, in order to personally control as much as possible, he gathered everything here. And it's crowded to this day. Germany & Austria The king's engineers literally rerouted a river to power these. Rick: A lot of Americans are a little nervous about the meat being rare when you order in a nice restaurant in Paris. I'm Rick Steves. Don't expect Versailles-like unity here; Fontainebleau is a gangly and confusing series of wings that has grown with centuries of kings. The Revolution rocked the realities of châteaux both big and small. Here we see not the extravagance of rich elites, but the extravagance of medieval piety. The opulent ballroom, which hosted many royal parties, is Baroque. So Louis, needing an escape from his escape, built this smaller palace buried deep in his vast back yard. 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