This post will be showing you a tiny bit of Versailles palace. This is after our day trip this past May.
The palace is a “must see” for visitors of all nationalities. The allure of being in the Hall of Mirrors, the King’s bedroom or the gardens draw the crowds 6 days a week, almost year around (excepting 5 bank holidays a year such as New Year’s Day or Easter Monday).
Here is a nice photo gallery where you can see some other views of Versailles: http://france-for-visitors.com/photo-gallery/paris/versailles/galerie-des-glaces.html
I just know that this big palace is beautiful to see. But, we were not very courageous on the day of our visit to face the crowds. We opted for quieter surroundings.
Our destination was the small palace called le petit Trianon and its surrounding hamlet . This part of the palace grounds is called le domaine de la Reine/ the Queen’s Estate.
The view at the entrance at street side.
It doesn’t look so regal with those rusty beams. That is actually the work of an artist.
King Louis XIV with some rusty beams as background.
Le Petit Trianon is at the back of the park, which takes you away from the crowds at the main castle. The Petit Trianon is here:
It is a plain and nondescript building. But inside is a beautiful and I will show you some highlights this week. This château was largely occupied by the queen Marie Antoinette. She would often use it and the countryside around it to entertain her friends in the summer.
But who exactly was Queen Marie Antoinette?
Portrait of Marie Antoinette and the rose, painted by Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun. This portrait is in the Petit Trianon.
Marie Antoinette was the Austrian born princess who became the bride of the French prince, Louis XVI. But, the royal family was found and captured. They were brought back to Paris, jailed and finally put on trial. Louis and Marie Antoinette were guillotined publicly at what is known as the place de la Concorde, in Paris.
Louis was executed on the 21 January, 1793, and Marie Antoinette on 16 October,1793.
The Queen’s domain is definitely a woman’s world.
It was where Marie Antoinette would escape the protocol of the court for much simpler pleasures. She would invite as few or as many people of her choosing, to entertain,play, or just relax.
There was also a hamlet near le Petit Trianon that was created just for the queen. Yes, a bogus hamlet ! It was created to “make pretend” but, curiously enough, it was also functional. It was complete with a farm, farm animals, vegetable gardens, a dairy, a vineyard and a mill. With, of course, “residents” to milk the cows, garden, upkeep the grounds and serve the queen.
You have to understand Marie Antoinette’s life. Because, he who understands cannot judge.
This woman’s life was traced like a straight line: wed to Louis at 15, becoming a wife, then queen at 19 years of age, and finally at 23, giving birth to the first of the couple’s four children. The time spent at the Petit Trianon and at the hamlet was probably a huge breath of fresh air for a woman who still needed to play, laugh and live. Here, it was possible to be young again, far from the tongues and prying eyes of the court.
Go get your spiffy clothes; Wednesday, I shall be taking you inside the petit Trianon.
Ye be there or ye be square. 🙂