Director Lara Fitzgerald and Executive Producer Robert Lang scouted the renowned Château de Versailles Museum outside Paris last week. They also toured Domaine Moët et Chandon, one of the world’s largest champagne producers, to hear secrets about the history of champagne development from the 16th Century on.
Take a look at our travelogue photos.
First we toured the fascinating subterranean world below the vineyards of Champagne. As we walked some of the 28 kilometres of wine cellars beneath Moët et Chandon’s production rooms, we discovered secrets of crafting some of the world’s best champagnes.
Then, we walked around the beautiful gardens of Château de Versailles, discovering cryptic meaning behind the allegorical fountains and sculptures.
Finally, we ventured inside the museum, into the glorious Hall of Mirrors, and resplendent Hall of Battles, a pictorial monument to the French victories on the battlefield. There, we delved into the histories and strategies of some of most bloody wars ever to ravage Europe.
Later, we visited Marie-Antoinette’s bedchamber with its opulent and over-the-top décor.
Here, in this remarkable room, visitors sense how the Queen’s reputation for extravagance—a catalyst in the French Revolution—seeps from every inch of the rococo gilded room. But tucked in the corner of the bedchamber lies a secret door, leading to small, sparse rooms, where the Queen liked to spend time with her family, away from the prying eyes of the court. Walking through the passageway—off limits to the general public—we retraced the doomed Queen’s steps where, in October 1789, she fled from an angry, starving crowd who had marched on Versailles. It was her last night at Versailles. In our upcoming episode, we’ll uncover the secret life of the Queen as a prisoner of the Revolution.
Further on in the palace, we came across an astonishing 18th century astronomical clock designed by Claude-Simeon Passemant for King Louis XV.
Measuring 2 metres in height, Passemant’s clock is topped with a moving celestial sphere, indicating the date, time, phases of the moon and Copernican planetary motion. The Palace of Versailles may be synonymous with opulence and decadence, but it was also a place of scientific experimentation and astronomical discovery for over two centuries. In our upcoming Versailles episode of Museum Secrets, we’ll find out how science at 18th century French court is connected to modern day astronomy.
Stay tuned for our more news about our travels as we work on Season 3! Find our latest photos from our shoots on our facebook page.