Archive for July 2nd, 2018

July 2, 2018

The Petit Trianon of Versailles!

Another jewel and our favorite when we lived in Versailles for about 10 years.  We avoided the crowds coming from the Parly II shopping center in Le Chesnay down ave de Versailles to the porte Saint Antoine and into the Petit Trianon. We used it as our garden! jogging, playing, just walking enjoying the history that was done there and having a hot chocolate at Angelina terrace by it.

I like to tell you more details of the Petit Trianon of  Versailles , again a lot more than the palace/museum I said.

The Petit Trianon is a castle located in the Domaine de Versailles. Built by the architect of King Louis XV, Ange-Jacques Gabriel, from 1762 to 1768, it is considered a masterpiece of neoclassicism, combining the most modern taste and integration with the surrounding nature.  Built for Madame de Pompadour who died before seeing it completed, it was inaugurated by Madame du Barry in 1768, almost 20 years after the first installations of the new garden of the king. For, although it is the most imposing of the domain of Versailles , it is not the first building, but rather lies in the continuity of a project that spans four decades. It was offered by king Louis XVI, as soon as he came, to his young wife Marie-Antoinette who gave her imprint, associating for ever, in the imagination of the public, the castle and the Queen.


Of a square plane of 23 meters each side, the building owes its peculiarity to its four facades comprising 5 high windows punctuated by columns or pilasters of the Corinthian order. Due to the slope of the terrain, the ground floor of the castle is only accessible by the sides facing the south and the east; This entrance was  reserved for the service. The noble floor, where one enters through the grand staircase of a vestibule designed as an inner courtyard, includes the reception rooms and the Queen’s apartment.  A three-room mezzanine is home to Marie-Antoinette’s library. In  the attic, several dwellings formerly attributed to king Louis XV and his suite now welcome the evocation of the Ladies of Trianon, these women who impregnated these walls with their brand. It remains the Castle of the Ladies, benefiting in the 19C from the infatuation of the sovereigns Marie-Louise, Marie-Amélie and Eugénie. The restoration campaigns carried out at the beginning of the 21C gave it the allure that he had the day when Marie Antoinette left it for the last time, as if time had stopped.

The castle was only completed in 1768, four years after Madame de Pompadour’s death. It is therefore attributed to Madame de Berry, new favorite of king Louis XV. If the Grand Trianon remains the place of the feasts and receptions, the Petit Trianon quickly becomes a place of intimacy.  Madame de Berry who makes her room, while the king settles in the attic. She was the first to remain regularly at the Petit Trianon, far from the hostility dedicated the daughters of the King and the Dauphins. It is in this castle that the king, who came in the company of his favorite in 1774, feels the first symptoms of the disease that carries him two weeks later to death. The Royal mistress, who has already left Versailles five days earlier, no longer appears, having received from the new king an order, transmitted by the Duke de la Villière, asking for her to go to the convent of Pont-aux-Dames.

For the first time, a queen of France became the owner of a château; in June 1774, Marie-Antoinette received as a gift from her husband, the new king Louis XVI, the estate of Petit Trianon. The Queen takes the habit of staying at “her” castle, the King only coming to dinner as a guest. The regulations are made “in the name of the Queen”, not the king; Marie-Antoinette behaves like a simple squire, breaking with the customs. She received her intimates for play, sing, dance, make music, walk in the  gardens, etc. The men are invited but no one other than the king sleeps at the castle. The women are the mistresses of the place and many of them are housed in the Queen’s Suite such as  Madame Élisabeth (sister of King Louis XVI) , who watches over Mrs. Royale, the Countess of Polignac, but also the princess of Chimay, the Countess of Ossun or Madame Campan, the Chamber maid. In ten years, she stayed 116 days in the Petit Trianon.

At the auction of 1793 and even temporarily transformed into a hotel, it is made available to Pauline Borghese, the favorite sister of Emperor Napoleon I, respecting the tradition of this residence which remains the “Castle of the Ladies.  The Empress Josephine, who will never lived at the Petit Trianon, participates in the choice of fabrics and furniture, which one wants richer and more elegant than under the former Régime. The Princess, who enjoyed the castle, stays there almost two months in June and July 1805, then one last time in December 1809, when Napoleon returned to Trianon to prepare the estate for his new wife.

The Empress, the Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria, was the grand-niece of Queen Marie Antoinette ,guillotined by the French revolution. Her marriage to Napoleon, which he was taught to hate, is also a consequence of the “Treaty of Schœnbrunn”, the name of the palace that saw Marie Antoinette grow up. From the Grand, she escapes to the Petit, which reminds her of the castle of Laxenburg of her childhood and where she begins to leave her imprint. She lodges in her great-aunt’s room, entirely redecorated with extravagance, under a golden silk dome that masks the original woodwork. It resumes the lifestyle of before 1789: a set of rings is restored in the vicinity of the Château, it rehabilitates the small theater and gives back sumptuous feasts in the gardens.

With the monarchy of July the castle of the Petit Trianon is attributed to the young couple then called to succeed to Louis-Philippe, the Duke and the Duchess of Orléans. The Duchess, who continues to stayed in Trianon after the accidental death of her husband, however no longer has the taste of this castle that she finds sad, considering herself in exile. The place falls into oblivion after the departure of this last princess.

The Empress Eugénie de Montijo (wife of Napoléon III) experiences for Marie Antoinette a close sympathy to the devotion and worships her, so much so that one finds this need for identification, pushed to the syncretism, in paintings a staging in a Evocation of the gardens of the Petit Trianon or in an 18C style dress of the Queen. Following the second empire , the Petit Trianon becomes a museum dedicated to the 18C and to Marie-Antoinette, the Queen whose myth begins to be imposed little by little. For more than a century, the castle was the object of little attention, despite the efforts of curators, architects and historians to make the presentation more in line with what the archives reveals. But the revival of Marie-Antoinette’s popularity from the end of the 20C, accompanied by the release of cinematographic successes that are devoted to her and which participate in the propagation of the myth, once again brought light to this small country castle of a queen from France to tour adulated and booed , who, without her being aware of it, contributed to her tragic fate .

A bit on the description of the Petit Trianon.

The ground floor (1st US), which is called the underground in the 18C is accessed by the vestibule opening by two doors on a modest porch of the entrance courtyard, south of the castle. On the left is the room of the guards and on the right, the billiard room, the rest being reserved for the use of the services.  From the vestibule, you can access the castle’s Staircase of honor, turning two straight flights, built in limestone of Saint-Leu and adorned with a ramp in gilded bronze and forged iron. Located in retreat under the flights of the staircase, a door gives access to the warming room covered with a low vault. On the half-step of the staircase at the seventh step, another small door, on the left, allows to join the old Chinese gallery of the ring game by a long corridor created in 1781, the most important transformation brought by Marie-Antoinette to the Petit Trianon, and located under the terrace facing the French garden.  Room of the gardes or body guards until the middle of the 19C. Billiard room in this corner room of the ground floor stands originally the billiards of king Louis XV, disappeared. The original billiards have not been found, a replica was done in 2005.


Main Réchauffoir or Warming room is on the ground floor assigned to the service in the central kitchen, or, accessible from the vestibule by an intermediate gallery. Two small reserves of office are attached to it. Starting from 1770, it becomes more exactly a warming room, especially intended to perfect the preparation of the dishes that are made in the common.  The Fruiterie room had a mechanism by which one or more tables can be moved by ascending or descending, thus replacing a piece of parquet of the same size in the form of rose. This device provides the double advantage of surprise the guests and preserve the intimacy of the conversations by eliminating the presence of the servants and the indiscrets glances . It has been installed from multimedia kiosks that offer visitors information on the Petit Trianon, in particular its construction and its recent restoration, as well as a three-dimensional modeling of the first floor.

Other rooms are the Silver room with an ice mechanism room . The first floor antiroom ,large dining room ,small dining room ,companion lounge, Boudoir, Queen’s room , and toilet. The mezzanine of the Queen’s Apartments restored in 2008 ,and for the first time accessible to conference visits, is home to its library of Marie-Antoinette as well as the rooms of the Ladies of Honor and room of the first maid ,bathroom ,attic.  The attic floor initially houses the apartment of king Louis XV, which is accessed by two staircases located at the south-east and north-east angles. It consists of a room, an antichamber and a corner cabinet. The rest of the floor is reserved for the “Lords” or, more precisely, the rooms overlooking the gardens are occupied by the notable people of the King’s Suite; Louis XVI’s small salon of Madame Royale , small salon of Madame Elisabeth , toilet of Marie-Louise,  room of Marie-Louise, Boudoir of the Duchess of Orleans and the corner of the Empress Eugénie.

Versailles Versailles

There you go another wonderful piece of art in the domain of Versailles, go back into the gardens and enjoy kingly living for a while.  Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

The Château de Versailles site on the Petit Trianon:

The city of Versailles tourism on the Petit Trianon:

Enjoy Versailles is Royal, magnificent, gorgeous, historical, architectural wonders and the history of France and the world.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

July 2, 2018

Some news from France CXCIII

And to catch up on that is wonderful of my belle France, here I am again. Today for a change we have rain , pouring rain and some lighting forecast with temps in the 30C  or about 85F very sticky hot. Now it is really raining lol! Paris is the same but a bit hotter!

Let me tell you what is going on in the Hexagone ::)

Well lots of work going on in our wonderful….sihh public transport system for the Summer.    The A86 and Line 11, the summer site. And it promises to be impressive. To allow the extension of line 11 to the east of Mairie des Lilas in Rosny-Bois-Perrier, the A86 motorway will be cut between Nogent-sur-Marne (94) and Rosny-sous-Bois (93) from 8 to 14 August.  RER C in the central section, traffic is interrupted from 15 July to 25 August between Austerlitz and Javel to allow the work of asbestos de Saint-Michel, the replacement of 6 km of rail between Pont de Alma and Invalides and between Musée d’orsay and Michel. The Alma Bridge station must also be accessible. In the west, in Saint-Quentin en Yvelines (78), 5 switches must be replaced and 3 deleted, as well as 1.2 km of renewed track. Not to mention the north. A Gennevilliers (92) in particular where the Pont de l’etoile will be replaced. RER B and D, occasional work. The K line cut off there will be no closing during the day, but the trains will stop punctually earlier. On the North Line B, 46 km of Catenary and 45 transformers will be replaced between Le Bourget (93) and the Sous-Bois (93). On the RER D, 7 km of tracks will be changed between Creil (60) and Villiers (95), as well as 12 km between Villiers-le-Bel (95) and Saint-Denis (93).

Line L, a new viaduct. Between Garches and Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche, there will be no train between 7 July and 26 August, in order to finalize the replacement of Marly Viaduct. The one that will allow the new trains, the Ile, to circulate.  Line H, a bridge to pass over the A16. The line will be cut from 14 July to 12 August between Montsoult and Luzarches in order to lay a rail bridge on the A16. Indeed, a new motorway section of 3 km will be born on the road between L’Isle-Adam (95) and the Francilienne. It will bypass the municipalities of Maffliers (95) and Montsoult (95) from the north. The Paris Luzarches line will have to pass over the highway.  Eole to the programme, in particular, wharf arrangements, creation of a new underpass and widening of the rail bridge in Poissy (78), arrival of the pieces of the Tunneler during August in Courbevoie (92), end of the assembly of the metal frame of the Footbridge of the future station of Nanterre-la-Folie (92) or construction of the bridge over the Seine in Nanterre-Bezons (92/95) to connect the line E to the J. No summer T4. The tram will not circulate between Bondy (93) and (93) from July 6 to September 3 to allow the installation of a new signalling system, with training of the drivers and realization of the white steps.

SNCF and RATP set up alternative buses. Each time, alternate buses are set up or alternative lines will be reinforced (1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 13, 14). The travel times remain however longer. Source Le Parisien newspaper of Paris of course!


For those daredevils driving hahaha! A remnant of the Renault era, the blue metal bridge that connects the banks of Meudon to Seguin Island (dept 92) will disappear at the beginning of the year.  The historic Pont Seibert, which connects the banks of Meudon with Seguin Island, will disappear.  It dates from 1931 and was built by Seibert. It was decommissioned in 1992 following the closure of the Renault factory and reopened to traffic in May 2011 in favour of the urban development of Seguin Island. It extends through the Daydé Bridge, which joins the right bank of the Seine . You can see a map location of the bridge here :

The Seine-et-Marne Heritage Festival puts in another stage in Brie-Comte-Robert for concerts, archaeological visits, track play. Throughout the month of July, proposing to discover 4 remarkable sites of Seine-et-Marne (dept 77). The historic town of Brie-Comte-Robert (with a nice castle), the village of Larchant and its church of Saint-Mathurin, the castle of Jossigny and the astonishing depot of locomotives of Longueville  until July 29 program in French here

A wonderful event always a regular there too bad far now in the west.  At Saint-Germain-en-Laye,(dept 78)  this past Saturday. The 366th edition of the famous carnival La fête des Loges is been  held until August 19. The feast of the lodges brings together nearly 200 attractions spread over 8 hectares of terrains and forest. The festival of the lodges is one of the oldest carnival fairs of France which has been held every summer since 1652!!,yes. More info here in French :

A wonderful deed all French are proud of, saving historical beautiful places for all the world to marvel at.  The Logis des Moins de La Maladrerie Saint-Lazare was chosen among the heritages to be renovated by the Stéphane Bern (a famous presenter of history architecture and just France )  mission . The work will begin in October the Maladrerie Saint-Lazare de Beauvais the building dating from the 13C, the Logis Des Moines, this 35 meters long heritage and an area of 450 m2 .  The Maladrerie Saint-Lazare is a former hospital institution dating from the 12C, located in Beauvais, this site is today a cultural and tourist center that welcomes the public all year round.  First known act concerning the Maladrerie Saint-Lazare de Beauvais is an act of donation of a house of a bourgeois of Beauvais to the Church of Saint-Lazare. This act is dated 1131. This document does not mean in itself that a maladrerie existed as such around the church of Saint-Lazare but suggests that a community of lepers is organized at this time, on the instigation of the bishop of Beauvais. The Maladrerie Saint-Lazare is the only one of these eleven leprosarium that has survived. It is an exceptional heritage and to date represents one of the best preserved maladreries in northern Europe. At the French revolution, the Maladrerie Saint-Lazare is sold as national property. Divided into three batches, the Maladrerie becomes a farm. During WWI, the Maladrerie served as a headquarters for various Army Corps, with Beauvais being a rear base for the front located further north.

Spared by the bombardments that destroyed the city at 80% during  WWII, the Maladrerie Saint-Lazare did not leave unscathed, however, since in 1939, following heavy rains, the bell tower of the Chapelle Saint-Lazare collapsed, then a few years later, it was the choir’s turn. Overall, it is in a remarkable state of conservation making it one of the most beautiful medieval barns in the north of France. Its frame, entirely of period, is composed of oaks dated by dendrochronology of the winter 1219-1220. The interior consists of three naves of nine bays separated by two rows of large arcades composed of sixteen pillars with square base.  On the walls of stone, many graffiti testify to the intense occupation of the site for eight centuries. Sometimes simply decorative, these also serve as a marking to indicate the filling height of straw or hay from one year to the next. The oldest building on the site, the Chapelle Saint-Lazare is a remarkable testament to Romanesque architecture in the region. The decor of a great sobriety and the very clean lines are characteristic of this Romanesque style of the 12C.  More in French here :

News all over the French news here and well deserving another resident of the Panthéon.   The fourth woman to receive this honour, Simone Veil, accompanied by her husband Antoine Veil, made their entrance this past Sunday at the Panthéon of Paris. Panthéon de Paris

Three years after the opening of the Plisson House in the Marais, the adventure continues to market place Saint-Honoré. Notice to the gourmets: bigger, the fresh market, which also makes cellar-grocery and tables, adds a restaurant parisien, a lounge of snacks, takeaways and a corner dedicated to utensils of all kinds. More info here:

The immersive theater arrives in France with the opening of the Secret, a new room dedicated to this Anglo-Saxon concept where spectators are free to evolve in the heart of the action. First programming from this past Friday at 21h with Helsingor, the adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet .

A bit more on Arles and the spirit of Provence. Vincent Van Gogh lost an ear and surely the reason in Arles. But there were no paintings left. After living there for more than a year, he left in bad terms with the inhabitants, tired of the turbulence of this Dutchman a little too much on absinthe. The artist committed suicide shortly after leaving the Camargue. The New York Times even propelled Arles to the 28th place of world destinations to visit and renamed it “New Cultural Cradle of Provence”.

Its historical heart still bubbles with an intense cultural life. Near the banks of the Rhone, here is the fief of Actes Sud. In the world of publishing, it is an exception, with the major publishers having their seat in Paris instead. The manuscripts are studied on the floor of the building. The ground floor is a place of life. We stroll between the stalls of books, in search of literary nuggets. Then we make a stopover at the café located in the center of the bookstore until the beginning of a session at the cinema Actes Sud, where we can see the novelties like the classics of the seventh art. More here: Actes Sud

Some great cultural shopping in Arles.

Boutique-Gallery, Dou Bochi esthétise the Art of living  in Arles. A matter of Style signed by Eric Berger and Antoine Rambourg. The place offers summer clothes, bag-bags in linen and leather, ceramics of the Atelier Buffile and wax subjects of the candles makers of Prémontes . All in a chic and timeless palette. 16 rue Réattu  Tél. : 09 82 31 07 60. Webpage in Facebook

La Marchande des 4 Saisons passed by the Ecole du Louvre, Anne Carpentier settles in her office, signed Jeanneret, in Arles. Under two arches and Gothic vaults, its gallery-casket brings together modernist furniture and antique busts, contrasting photo prints and pieces by young designers from the Ecole d’art de Lausanne (Ecal). A nice mini-wax replica of the ancient obelisk, made with the workshops Luma was a nice gift. 12, rue de la Rotonde  Tél. : 06 84 86 81 42. More info here:

And of course, back to Paris for the coming Summer. Great places to mingle and shine after all Paris is eternal but we are not ::)

It is the occasion to discover the Bois de Boulogne in its best day, that of its landscaped green spaces, its lake and its birds. There are for an hour of oars (after, each one’s rhythm) to go around the lake, passing through the main island and its kiosk of the Emperor Napoleon III in 1852. Lake of Bois de Boulogne 14, chemin du lac Inférieur  16éme open daily from February 15 to October 30, 10h to 19H €8 for thirty minutes, €12 for one hour, €21 for two hours,  bail €50 , 5 people max per boat. More here: Bois de Boulogne

Five minutes from the Porte Dorée on Lake Daumesnil. All the details are thought. It’s like the Trianon of Marie Antoinette. A waterfall, a cave, bridges, an island with a magnificent rotunda that overlooks the whole, and on which you can stop… Lake Daumesnil   route de ceinture du lac Daumesnil  12 éme  open  from mid-February to mid-November every day from 10h to 01h  before Nightfall  €13 hour (1 to 2 persons) or €14 hour (3 to 4 persons) deposit of €20 without reservation. More here: Boating lac Daumesnil

It is called “The Pearl of the Bois de Vincennes”, just that. The lake hosts many species of birds that make you forget what city you are in, the time of the ride: Swans, grey herons, goose geese these boats can accommodate up to five people. As for the more athletic, the lake also offers canoes for rent. Lac des Minimes  Avenue de Nogent – 12éme  open daily from 13h30  during the school holidays open from 13h30 to 19h30 on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 11h to 19h30 on Sundays from March to end of November €10 Hour (1 to 2 persons) or €12 hour (3 to 5 persons)  Deposit of €10 or ID (passport etc) More here: Lac des Minimes Vincennes

There is a invincible attraction in the Jardin d’Acclimatation that the smartest Parisians have known since its inauguration, in 1928 . Another lazy thing! Effortlessly, you let yourself be carried by the wild and enchanted river, in full green flora, Jardin d’Acclimatation,  Mahatma Gandhi Avenue 16éme  open daily from Monday to Friday from 10h to 19h on weekends, school holidays and public holidays between 10h to 20h.More here: Enchante River Jardin d’Acclimatation

Were you talking about electric boats and the possibility of being led in a boat without effort? Well, it’s happening in the north-east of Paris, at the marina of La Villette. We reassure you, it is without license and hyper easy to take in hand. The captaincy of Marins d’Eau Douce or freshwater sailors will explain everything. For the craziest, there are 20 km of stroll in all, with three longer courses: to the Grands Moulins de Pantin (two hours), to the parc de la Bergére (half a day), or to the lock of Sevran (one day). Meeting place at the  basin of La Villette  37, quai de la Seine  19éme open daily from 9h30 to 22h 5 people max per boat €20 1/2 hour, €40 half hour rate on Wednesday. More here: Villette boating

Stay shaded in Paris for the Summer!

In the Petit Pré a (very) large garden to entertain the jaded Parisians of crowded micro-terraces. To access it, direction Longchamp Racecourse. On the menu: barbecues at times, cocktails of egg, nap at the foot of a tree or even petanque between buddies. Just a few steps from the Bagatelle gardens, this new garden is intended to be the new rendezvous food of the west Parisian Le Petit Pré Grille d’Honneur 2 route des Tribunes 16éme. more info here: Le Petit Prés

This House on the water  OFF Paris moored at the foot of Austerlitz station in the 13éme arrondissement, we sip a cocktail, we eat tapas and above all we take advantage of the swimming pool next to the Seine (and its emblematic buoy) lulled by the Games of light and the reflections of the water  OFF Paris Seine  86, quai d’Austerlitz – 13éme

It is on the roof of the Grand Boulevards hotel, halfway between the bourgeois neighborhoods and the popular suburbs, that has just settled the cocoon green ,The Shed. After crossing the hotel lobby, a walk in the elevator, you will discover a guinguette and its hidden, suspended and protected garden. There is a strong doubt that there is better setting to come and drink at the hour of aperitif (happy hour/after work) . The Shed   17, boulevard Poissonnière – 2e

Nestled in the heart of the Jardin des Plantes, the beautiful plants is all that one loves the most in the countryside: a real family house in the country decoration where you can stop for tea, drink a cocktail or eat a piece . Les Belles Plantes  47, rue Cuvié – 5e

There you go Paris and France have a lot going for this coming Summer or is it already ! lol! yes hot and rainy so be prepare or be square lol!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

July 2, 2018

The Grand Trianon of Versailles!

Now going back to my previous neck of the woods so saying, this is Versailles hello world!! The Royal city of Versailles has many wonders and some seldom visited . Surveys done by the city of Versailles tell us that 98% of visitors to the city only come to see the palace/museum!! Oh my God, there is so much more in Versailles, my town ,another beloved spot on earth for me. 10 glorious happy years of family living with memories to last a lifetime. Let me tell you about a gem, call the Grand Trianon.

However, I need to tell you more, a lot more on the Grand Trianon.

Before the current Trianon there was a building built by the architect Le Vau on the order of king Louis XIV, which was called the Trianon de porcelain. Its walls were covered with Delft tiles. Destroyed in 1687, it was replaced from the following year by the Trianon de marble. The architect was Jules Hardouin-Mansart. This is the palace we see today. The king reserved it for the feasts, the concerts, the snacks in the middle of the rest. His garden was covered with flowers, specially chosen for their colors and smells.

The pieces of the Grand Trianon are all marked by history. The Kings and the emperor who lived there left their mark. The most visible are those of Napoleon I and Louis-Philippe. The Trianon-sous-Bois wing was a time reserved for the President of the French Republic. After the visit of the castle, the visit of the Grand Trianon is indispensable. Apart from the architecture, the furniture and some pieces of porcelain, you can admire dozens of beautiful paintings of the great century, including the works of Charles de la Fosse (1666-1716) and Jean Jouvenet (1644-1717).

The gallery of the Cotelle or galerie de la Cotelle done in  1687, to decorate the gallery, it was ordered 24 paintings illustrating the groves and fountains of the gardens of Versailles. 21 of these paintings are of the painter Jean Cosuch (1645-1708). The room is 52 meters long and 7 meters wide. It communicates with the so-called Trianon-sous-Bois wing. It was built to serve as a reception room. Under the Empire, it housed a collection of model boats; Under Louis-Philippe, a collection of bronze and art objects.   As in the past, this gallery is now and then used for official receptions. So it is quite often closed to the public.


The Music Room or salon de la musique, after being the first antichamber of king Louis XIV, this room became a music parlor. The shutters that are seen at the top of the wall facing the windows opened in a grandstand where the musicians were installed. The room became an officer’s lounge under the Empire, then a billiard room under Louis-Philippe.

The Grand Trianon or Trianon de marble is  within the park of the castle or more appropiatly the Domaine of Versailles. The exterior of the building is constructed of pink marble which gives it the name “Trianon de marble”, as opposed to the Trianon of porcelain which preceded it in the same location.  The Grand Trianon is made up of a courtyard, of a palace, and of a set of gardens and basins;  it includes at its entrance a large courtyard called the Cour d’honneur, framed by a building divided into two wings connected by a gallery with columns. The right wing is extended by a perpendicular wing called Trianon-sous-Bois. The building overlooks a set of French gardens and basins, including the flat bottom basin, the so-called “ear basin” and the Horseshoe Basin.


It was the place of residence or passing of several French or foreign royal figures, including king Louis XIV,tsar  Peter I of Russia or queen Marie Leszczyńska, wife of king Louis XV. More recently there were General de Gaulle, or foreign heads of State on official visits to France, such as the American President Richard Nixon in 1969, or the Queen of the United Kingdom Elisabeth II in 1972. The bit of history I like tells us that in 1663 and 1665, king Louis XIV bought from the monks of the Abbaye Sainte-Geneviève de Paris the lands and the village of Trianon (named Triarnum in a papal bull of 1163).

Completed in 1672, the first castle of Trianon, known as the Trianon de porcelain, will remain so for 15 years. In Faïence porcelain very fragile, it quickly suffered the wear and tear of time and stopped pleasing the king who ordered its demolition in 1686, shortly after the visit of the ambassadors of the king of Siam, to build in his place a wider abode and a style resolutely different. The Trianon de marble is rebuilt on the rubble of the former Trianon de Porcelaine, Jules Hardouin-Mansart, the first architect of the King, is responsible for its construction. The project is established in 1687. The Grand Trianon, or Trianon de marble, was inaugurated in the summer of 1688 by king Louis XIV and Madame de Maintenon, who make it their private residence.

To complete the interior decoration, an order of 24 tables is made in 1687 of which 21 to the Galerie de Cotelle. The visits to the Grand Trianon was only done by Roayl invitation , often for the day. The king regularly organized dinners with the aim of controlling the Court. Few guests were sleeping there because of the limited number of rooms. At the end of his reign, king Louis XIV opened more widely the Grand Trianon.  The panelling of the lounges welcomed many princes of the Royal house like the Grand Dauphin, the Duchess of Burgundy, the Duke of Berry and Duchess of Berry, the Duke of Chartres, the Duchess of Bourbon and the Duchess of Orléans, Madame Palatine.

king Louis XV is totally uninterested in the place, but he comes to hunt. the Queen Marie Leszczyńska, who resides there since August 1741 with more retreat, and pushed by her favourite, the Marquise de Pompadour, king Louis XV decided to retake the palace of Grand Trianon in 1749. He built the French pavilion, endowed with a farmyard, and the French garden. Finally, the construction of the Petit Trianon,(next post) between 1761 and 1768, gives its new name to the Trianon de marble, the Grand Trianon. Marie-Antoinette far prefers the Petit Trianon to the grand, spite of this, she gives some performances in the gallery of the Cotelle.

We have to wait for the first Empire for the domain to regain its importance. In 1805, emperor Napoleon I ordered the restoration of the two palaces. The emperor made many stays at the !Grand Trianon between 1809 and 1813. In order to guarantee its security and to facilitate direct access to Grand Trianon without going through the Palace, it erected the entrance gate of the front yard and the two pavilions reserved for its personal guard. Under king Louis XVIII, no change is made to the Trianons, only the imperial symbols are removed.  In 1830, king Charles X stopped for a few hours on his way to exile. From 1830 to 1848, Marie-Amélie of Bourbon-Sicily renovated the castle to the liking of the day to live there, and married his daughter, Marie d’Orléans, with Alexandre de Württemberg, in 1837. Like his predecessor, king Louis-Philippe I made a halt at Trianon on the road to exile in 1848.


The Treaty of Trianon, which split the Balkans, was signed at the Grand Trianon by the warring powers of WWI in 1920. From 1959, General de Gaulle thought of making the Grand Trianon a presidential  residence. Only, the costs to be incurred for this were very important ; however it serves as a framework for the official receptions of the Republic, including the G7 Summit of 1982, the presidential guests residing in the wing of the Trianon-sous-Bois. Among the welcomed heads of state were the American presidential couple John and Jackie Kennedy, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and the Duke of Edinburgh, the latter being the Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1992. The room occupied by General de Gaulle remained as is, with two separate beds, very long ,due to his size.


A bit of overall description on the rooms are:

Apartment of the Impératrice, Chambre of the Empress ,Salon of the Chapel ,Salon of the Lords. The péristyle  of the Grand Trianon is the colonnaded gallery connecting the right wing and the left wing of the Grand Trianon, but also the courtyard to the gardens. It consists of open arcades on the courtyard and a colonnade on the garden. The nickname “Trianon de marble” of the Grand Trianon is due in particular to this peristyle whose pilasters are made of this rock=marbre.

There is a large living room ,salon de Musique,  Salon Louis-Philippe’s ,Salon of Malachite .The gallery of Cotelle, located in the north wing, features 11 windows and 5 windows are connected to the Garden lounge. It takes its name from the painter Jean Cotelle the young, portraitist and miniaturist of king Louis XIV who realizes 21 out of 24 paintings that are attached to it Salon of Jardins.

Moving on to the  Small apartment of the emperor’s ,Chamber of the emperor’s,  antichamber of the emperor’s , topographical office of the Emperor’s,  cabinet particular of the Emperor’s; Breakfast living room, bath of the Emperor , and Trianon-sous-Bois in the north wing of the Grand Trianon built in to overcome a lack of space, this wing is built shortly before 1708 and is occupied by Madame Palatine, sister-in-law of King Louis XIV, and his family.  The billiard room is transformed into a chapel under king Louis-Philippe Ier. The marriage of Marie d’Orléans, daughter of Louis-Philippe, with Alexandre de Württemberg is held here in 1837. Columns in the Chapel come from the grove of the Dômes, and a stained glass window representing the assumption of the Virgin an order of the National manufactory of Sèvres.

And we finish the tour with the Bailiffs ‘ room ,waiting room for first aid and office of the President , the small living room , dining hall , Chapel of Louis-Philippe during the construction of the Trianon de marble, André le Nôtre traces in the gardens geometrical figures in compartment sections of greenery. The gardens are completed after his death, in 1700, by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, who, in 1702, decorates them, among others, with a water buffet and creates groves and halls of greenery. Only the pride of Le Nôtre, the garden of Springs, located in the hollow of the gallery of the Costelle and Trianon-sous-Bois are preserved.

Versailles Versailles

There you go a full story tour. A wonderful place indeed in my beloved Versailles. You can avoid the lines rush from place d’Armes by going thru the porte Saint Antoine direct to the Grand Trianon ;this is done if you have a car or take bus line 19 by ave Saint Cloud to stop Parly II le Chesnay, walking down couple hundred meters on your right hand side.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and you must come are

The domaine of Versailles on the Grand Trianon:

The tourist office of Versailles on the Grand Trianon;

Hope it helps you enjoy this place as much as it does me. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!

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