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 The Real Versailles 
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Royalty
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
A cobweb? Ok, if they're getting paid to actually clean.

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Mon Jul 21, 2008 2:26 am
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
Hellou_Librorum wrote:
A cobweb? Ok, if they're getting paid to actually clean.

They get 80 dollars, I think they should be doing some hardcore scrubbing, and yes, Im very cautious.


Mon Jul 21, 2008 2:27 am
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
Considering the fact you have allergies makes things worse. I wonder if Marie Antoinette had allergies?

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Mon Jul 21, 2008 2:41 am
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
Hellou_Librorum wrote:
Considering the fact you have allergies makes things worse. I wonder if Marie Antoinette had allergies?

I wonder too! :roll:


Mon Jul 21, 2008 3:15 am
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
I've just visited YouTube.com and viewed a short little video on the palace of versailles. It shows rooms on the upper floor (as evidenced by the windows) and none of this area appears to have been restored: dingy walls, dirt, floor tiles missing. What makes me very curious is a cabinet containing a large hole that looks like it's filled with trash and extends down through the palace. What in the world is it? What are these rooms? The dialogue is in French and I can't pick up more than a few words. Perhaps le comte can enlighten me? :help:


Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:52 am
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
I'd like to say to Marija 'thank you' for the exhausting and detailed translation regarding attitudes toward cleanliness. I did read that the courtiers and visitors who used the palace as a bathroom often went behind the curtains. And in the stairwells. Bathing, while available, wasn't a daily habit but apparently a special occasion as evidenced by your translation. So I do stick by the bathing of visible body parts; and as to the cleanliness of the palace due to the staff, again I believe with open windows, soot from stoves their standards of cleanliness just didn't approach ours today with central heat and air and more manageably-sized homes. :angel5:


Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:13 am
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
Also, I think they also had a different concept of 'germs' than we have today - or at least did not bother. Yet, our bodies like a certain amount of germs for it builds up our natural resistance to them and strengthens our immune system. So who knows? :lol:

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Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:44 am
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
Show me the video, and I can translate!


Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:48 am
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
I have to disagree with most of what has been said on this topic. Sorry. The 18th Century, and most of the 19th, were indeed filthy by our standards, with people dumping their sewage directly into the streets, not washing their hair or bathing regularly. All true. However, we are discussing Versailles, the royal residence, where it can be assumed that its residents had the best of everything (for their time). And one should remember that we are discussing the habits of the aristocracy and royalty, not commoners. I find it impossible to believe that these exalted people---who took manners so seriously, right down to the way they walked, spoke, held their heads and folded their hands---would urinate and defecate on their own floors! I've read a few contemporary accounts (British) ridiculing the French aristocracy for their obessive cleanliness. There are many, many chateaux in France with bathtubs dating from the 18th Century. And it has been recorded by Mme. Campan, among others, that M.A. bathed regularly, her whole body. Out of modesty, she wore a sort of swim-suit while bathing, but she did emerse herself in soap and water on a routine basis. As did her court. I remember reading an account of the "Fish wives" from Paris invading Versailles, and their awful stench: No doubt, if they smelled so bad to the courtiers, then the courtiers themselves must have been fairly clean-smelling. Probably, the throngs of commoners who visited Versailles on a daily basis, and who wouldn't know where the privies and chamber pots were located, relieved themselves in dark corners when nobody was looking, but the courtiers considered such behavior gross and inappropriate.
M.A.'s Versailles most likely would have offended our modern noses; for even if the courtiers and servants were well-scrubbed, there were still many dogs and cats running around who did go on the floors. Factor in all the open sewers outside, the hundreds of privies, and the unwashed commoners--and the palace fairly reeked. In short, Versailles was probably as clean as it could be in an age before all of our chemical solutions and electric appliances.


Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:33 am
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
First off, I think we have been completely fair. However I certainly have to disagree with you. The nobles and members of the household would return to their households, and use the chamber pots, or toilets. Marie Antoinette had a toilet that flushed, as did Louis XVI and Madame DuBarry. The Households of Orleans, Provence, and Artois all had toilets, and Were all well bathed. Commoners did not just stroll versailles. The had to be properly dressed, had to have a sword, if you didn't have a right to carry one, one could be rented at the gate upon entry. Marie Antoinette bathed almost exactly what Kirsten dunst wore in the 2006 movie. She, had two seperate bathing rooms. A Tub in each one.


Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:44 pm
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
The first time I visited Versailles in person, I was actually a little disappointed. After everything I had read about the great chateau and years of imagination, it seemed smaller than I had pictured, and rather poorly planned; a patchwork of odd rooms and wasted spaces. I thought the French Government had not done an adequate job of preservation or maintence. And I was very sore when I discovered that Louis-Philippe (the Orleans king) had caused the two immense side wings to be completely gutted and turned into art galleries. What a crime against history! Anyway, the grounds were spectacular, and the private royal apartments truly magnificent, the height of taste and refinement. It's a shame the whole chateau could not have been preserved in the same manner.


Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:31 am
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
Then again I would love if the government would maintain better however we must bear in mind that:
1) Versailles is expansive, and difficult to maintain due to it's size.

2) Correct me if I am wrong. however I believe that France has the most castles/ chateaux in Europe or the world. :oops:

3) There is only so much a government can do, the French government has serious issues such as lack of housing to deal with etc.

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Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:47 am
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
Thanks, Hellou_Librorum for your insight. I was not thinking of the expense involved with keeping up such a large place. I wonder if they have not considered making use of private endowments? Perhaps an international fund, with donations from all who care about preserving such a world treasure. I would certainly contribute!


Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:52 am
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
There is a perfume one can buy ( for a hefty price) that the proceeds go to restoring Versailles here is a beautifully written review. And you can go on the Versailles website to see if you can donate.

http://www.mimifroufrou.com/scentedsala ... rfume.html

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Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:07 am
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Post Re: The Real Versailles
The Lateral wings still retain some of there former planning. Although the Apartments of the Orleans have been turned into a ridiculous looking cafe...
The Provence Apartments in the Pavillion de Monsieur are still intact, althought they are being used as offices.
Versailles, is still the largets palace in the world. It's still gorgeous, and still spectacular. The government cares about one thing, the government. There is a charity group of sorts called "the friends of Versailles."


Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:45 am
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