Versailles palace- big crowds and small wonders

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.  🙂

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11 thoughts on “Versailles palace- big crowds and small wonders

  1. Hi Dedene,

    It is special to visit this palace I agree that their lifestyle would make today’s rich & famous look drab! Maybe another day, we will do the big palace. We just kept it simple thet day that we visited and we were enchanted with what we saw!

    Bonne rentrée!

  2. AWESOME post and photos, Barb!

    ADORE those first two shots! So much of Europe (especially France) reminds me very much of the architecture we have here in Philly.

    Thank you soooooo much for sharing about the history of Marie Antoinette – utterly fascinating. She’s someone I’ve always been interesting in too.

    “. Louis and Marie Antoinette were guillotined publicly at what is known as the place de la Concorde, in Paris.”

    YIKES! Execution in those days was very barbaric, wasn’t it?

    Again, thanks for the great tour. I look forward to seeing inside!

    “Ye be there or ye be square.”

    HA! Love it!

    Have a marvi Monday, my friend!

    X

  3. Bonjour Barbara.. I have not been yet… must do go!! I think the quieter places are good to go, you get to take it all in, and get better photos to share .. xx

  4. I’m curious to see your pictures because we never actually made it inside!

    Feng wanted to visit last time we were in France a year ago, so we headed there early in the morning. The queue was already way too long and people had been waiting for hours. We decided to only visit the Jardins, which were very nice.

    I felt bad as the host… We had been everywhere in London a few days earlier and yes, we queued to go to the London Eye etc. But nothing like Versailles. It didn’t seem to be very well organized 😦

  5. Hi friends,

    Ron- Hey there! I’m glad that you enjoyed the pics and the text. Barbaric, you said for the execution of the King & queen? It was probably considered “normal” for the time.
    Today we cringe, but then people would attend executions just to watch.
    Count me out… my heart is definetly from the the 21st century!

    I will be showing you some more of the palace grounds.
    Have a great day! xo

    Anne- Bonjour! Yes, you will go but you have to make a long day of it. Like anything in life, it is all about choices.BTW… if you can organize yourself in advance, you can reserve a date & buy your ticket online.
    Have faith- you will make positive things happen xo

    Zhu- Salut. I am glad that you could experience at leats the gardens. That is what we did the first time there, over 6 years ago. That is easy because the garden is normally free( unless they have the show called “les eaux musicales”.

    I know what you mean about feeling bad that your partner wanted to see something and it didn’t work out… D wanted to go to Sea World when we were in San Diego in 2006. But, we just didn’t have time. That means that you put the idea away and try to do it in the future… Bises 🙂

  6. Yikes……not sure about that beheading stuff. (think about doing it on a regular basis…..LOL…..NOT that I would!!) But OH……..that statue of His Royalness……awesome. Even with the rusty beams–especially with the rusty colour that shows off that lovely green colour!

    Beheading, huh? LOL I sortakinda relate? 😀

  7. Hi Mel,

    I don’t like the chopping off of heads, either 😦 That is how justice was back then.There were not too many options on the legal defense side.
    Just give me a modern judicial system(with it’s flaws); I prefer that!!

    I think that the statue of the king came out really well! You are right; the rusty tone does compliment the green of the bronze.
    Thanks for stopping my, M’ lady 😉

  8. Hi Lucie,

    Interesting question; I looked up quickly to see when this portrait was painted: 1783.
    That means that the queen was 27 or 28 at the time.
    I know that wigs were the fashion statement back in this time so, I would bet that that grey hair is actually a grey/silver wig!!

    Different time, different style…

    It is nice to see you around 😉

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