Thursday, April 20, 2017

France: A winter's visit to the Petit Trianon

The Petit Trianon is located in the park at Versailles. It can be reached by walking or by a tram that runs about every 30 minutes. It cost us 10 Euros at the time, to take the tram, this is a day ticket, today it is 12.

While you are traveling around the park there is a running commentary in several languages, one after the other.

The Petit Trianon was designed in the Neoclassical style by Ange-Jacques Gabriel. It was built between 1762 and 1768 for the use of Louis XV and his mistress Madame de Pompadour. 

Unfortunately, she died in 1764 and it was her successor Madam de Berry who got to enjoy it. Here they could come to get away from the suffocating formality of the French Court. In 1774 Louis XVI gave it to his wife Marie Antoinette and it became her favorite residence. This is where she built her famous Hameau (village) and where for even a short time she could forget that she was the queen of France and pretend that this idyllic rural village was real. It was turned into a museum dedicated to her memory by Empress Eugenie in 1867.

Security is high all over Versailles and our bags and ourselves went through metal detectors at every different location. The room you enter into was the former billiard room and after passing security you go upstairs for your self-guided tour.

The antechamber is the first room you enter and the stunning Viger Lebrun portrait of Marie Antoinette with a rose dominates the room. From here you go to the large and small dining rooms. The large dining room has a very pretty bust of Marie Antoinette. The small dining room has portraits of Louis XV and Madam du Pompadour.

My favorite rooms were the bedroom and the private sitting room. I loved the upholstery on the furniture. There is no bed in the bedroom, it has long since disappeared never to be seen again. There is a writing desk that belonged to the Queen, though.

About 10 rooms are open that you visit at the Petit Trianon. This is small but very charming. Now you wait for the tram or walk over to the Grand Trianon. We visited in January and at that time of year, Marie Antoinette’s little Hameau (village) was not open for visits. During the tourist season, you can actually walk among these charming little houses and feel what made them so charming to the Queen.

You can get to Versailles on the train from Paris and it is an easy walk to the Chateau.


  1. A lovely snippet of information about such a beautiful place. Well worth a visit.

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