25.8.13

Less than an hour from Paris: Petit Trianon, Versailles

We should all be grateful to Marie-Antoinette for the Petit Trianon. Well, technically to Madame de Pompadour, but anyway...


In 1774, the same year that Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette's husband, became King of France and Navarre, he offered her the Trianon estate. Although Madame de Pompadour, the favourite of King Louis XV, was the instigator of this small palace built in the 1760s, it is the memory of Marie-Antoinette that hangs over the building. 

Petit Trianon was the masterpiece of architect Anges-Jacques Gabriel. Built according to the latest Greek-style fashion and surrounded by gardens, it allowed the Queen to live away from the Court. 

Not as sumptuous as the excessively ornate Versailles, my favourite buildings are the Queen's Hamlet. Marie-Antoinette ordered its construction in 1783, so she didn't really enjoyed for long. The Hamlet became a veritable farm. Producing supplies for the kitchens of the Palace, it was built in a rustic style, following a trend initiated by the late Louis XV. The Farm was located outside the village and sheltered a varied livestock: a small herd of eight cows and a bull, ten goats and pigeons. You still can see animals today.

If you go to Versailles Palace, allow a good couple of hours to walk around the Petit Trianon area, the lakes, the folly, the gardens, the farm... Unlike Versailles Palace, this area is not at all crowded -and I visited in August-. It's an oniric dreamy world that Sofia Coppola captured perfectly in her movie, Marie-Antoinette. 


Petit Trianon ©

Petit Trianon's folly ©
The Queen's Hamlet ©


Lavender was Louis XVI favourite plant ©




1 comment:

Couture Carrie said...

So gorgeous, and such a rich history!

xoxox,
CC