The South Wing of Chateau


The other outstanding event of 2013 was the French National Heritage Day — the occasion for so many of us to finally penetrate the South wing of the Chateau. What’s in the South wing? Nothing, and this is why they don’t want you to see it.


Seriously, the wing is all about Napoleon. Why not let people in? No reason at all, except for the apparent traffic flow issues, that is where and when to finish and how many tickets they can sell: The present itinerary is perfect: here is your main palace ticket, there is your musical fountains ticket, then the Domain of the Queen ticket, plus food, drink, gift shop around the corner. Showing the South wing would break the rhythm, and they need their guests to stay focused; millions and millions are coming to be funnelled from nine to six, without any unnecessary distractions.


So, they hold the space in reserve for all sorts of special events, renting it out occasionally to film crews. What are the highlights of the South wing? To me it’s a colossal statue of the Empress Josephine. Women are important at Versailles, and the important women assume the rank of fetish. At least this is how the Napoleon’s army felt about it. The soldiers resented the Emperor’s divorce; they were certain that Josephine was their lucky charm. The Emperor himself was not free of superstition, and ever since the Russian campaign complained bitterly about loosing his star.



About versaillesgossip, before and after Francis Ponge

The author of the blogs Versailles Gossip and Before and After Francis Ponge, Vadim Bystritski lives and teaches in Brest France. The the three main themes of his literary endeavours are humor, the French Prose Poetry, the French XVII and XVIII Century Art and History. His writings and occasionally art has been published in a number of ezines (Eratio, Out of Nothing, Scars TV, etc). He also contributes to Pinterest where he comments on the artifiacts from the Louvre and other collections. Some of his shorter texts are in Spanish, Russian and French.
This entry was posted in Chateau Versailles, Josephine Beauharnais, Napoleon. Bookmark the permalink.

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