• LOCATION 75 | Hidden Messages from the Sun King: A Guide to the Palace of Versailles' Gardens

    Sphinx

    Sphinx on Versailles, Yvelines audio tour Hidden Messages from the Sun King: A Guide to the Palace of Versailles' Gardens

    The little cherub on the back of the Sphinx is holding out his hand toward you. Does he want a high-five? Hardly. He's warning you. "Stop where you are. Come no further."

    Sphinx tests your wisdom. If you're wrong, you go to hell, which is the Parterre du Midi straight ahead. It may not be visible at ground level, but an aerial view shows the outlines of the shrubs look like the menacing scythe held by Death, instead of the artistic swirls in the other parterres. There are six steps down from the Sphinx into hell. Everybody knows six is the number of the devil, or Pluto in the case of these gardens.

    If you respond correctly, Sphinx invites you to go around to the right to access heaven. Paradise is found after the 100 steps to the Orange Grove. You know the way now, and may go there if you like, and I have a bonus surprise if you're feeling adventurous. Let the audio play until the end. However, the Sphinx is the last stop on our tour "Garden of Versailles: hidden messages from the Sun King."

    For now, look over your left shoulder back at the Palace, to the middle floor. Four windows from the left are where the Queen's quarters start. The view from her bedroom isn't too shabby, wouldn't you say?

    You may stay here a bit longer, or play the end track, where I'll reveal your bonus.

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Hidden Messages from the Sun King: A Guide to the Palace of Versailles' Gardens