Archive for August 12th, 2019

August 12, 2019

Antiques at Versailles!

So why not tell you another little spot in my beloved Versailles where I will not be tired of telling you lived for almost 10 sublimes years. I now consol myself to visited it once a year , or sometimes twice, having move to lovely Morbihan in Bretagne.

There is so much to see in Versailles and again will not be tired of telling you the city is more than the palace/museum as almost everyone that comes here do not go elsewhere in the city, a pity.

Let me tell you about the Antiques quarter of Versailles in my nostalgic Notre Dame district of Versailles.


The whole area is broken down into sections and all are worth the detour good for about half a day. These areas are the Bailliage, Village, Carré, and Passage.

The Bailliage this superb 18C building built in 1724 by Tavenot, a student of Mansart, first court and first prison of Versailles today houses antique shops and galleries that present furniture, modern paintings and objets d’art in a charming setting.

Let yourself be dragged to the Village, former outbuildings of the Picardie hotel where the little houses arranged in a horseshoe around the well, welcome the walkers. A picturesque staircase will guide you to other exhibitors and will allow you if you wish to join the rue de la Pourvoierie and the Notre Dame market.


The Passage is implanted in the old walk of the prisoners of the prison of the Geole. Samson who executed Louis XVI held the office of executioner until 1788. Madame Du Barry, the famous favorite of Louis XV was locked during the French revolution. Today, jewels, ceramics, elegant furniture, objects of shop windows are the admiration of all walkers.

The Carré des Antiquaires, originally stables of the Bailliage, turned into sheds during the 19C to house the wines and spirits destined for the Notre Dame market where the given name of Cour de l’Etape aux Vins. Or courtyard of the step with the wines. Today transformed into galleries of antique shops or craftsmen’s workshops they reveal the richness of the creation, and the art of living of past centuries.

You can come into this wonderful area of my Versailles by the Passage de la Geôle or the rue du Bailliage or the 14 bis, rue Baillet-Reviron or the 13, rue de la Pourvoierie. The hours are for the Passage and Village, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10h to 19h. For the Carré, Thursdays afternoons and Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10h to 19h and the Bailliage from Tuesdays to Sundays 10h to 19h.

More info here in French: Official Antiques of Versailles

Tourist office of Versailles on the antiques in English

And there you go another wonderful artful historical and architecturally stunning visit to the other Versailles. The antiquaires area is wonderful worth a detour. Enjoy it

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


August 12, 2019

From the old Hospital Richaud, the new Espace Richaud, Versailles of course!

It’s been a while do not share a post about my beloved Versailles. If you have been reading my posts , you know I lived here for almost 10 years and still my sentimental favorite. Versailles is sublime, royal, majestic and chic with nice town feel.

Anything to do with it I stay abreast of the news and a while back I wrote of the transformation of an icon in the city, and now very modern spaces. The city of Versailles did a survey believe was in 2016 where if found the visitors to the city 98% only see the Palace/museum!! What a pity, this is a piece of world history indeed in it. I am trying in my posts to show you the other Versailles as well.

As living there, I needed to do some backtracking to find pictures, as when you live as local found hard times to go around taking pictures lol! I actually took a whole lot more after I left as resident and visited as tourist lol! believe it or not…

Pictures are not allowed inside ,but is worth the detour is the Chapelle de l’Immaculate Conception. In your walks of the city and you must get out of the palace, at the end of rue royale, take a look at the Lycée Notre Dame de Grandchamp that houses a private school and next to it at 16 Rue Monseigneur Gibier, you have the Bishop’s office of the diocese of Versailles. And next to it at no 8 the  Chapelle de l’Immaculate Conception.


A bit of history of the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception,  and its meaning. It all started when the Order of St. Francis of Assisi, who in 1224 joined the Order of the Poor Ladies, of which its first abbess was the sister Claire. Hence the name adopted later: the Poor Clares., the nuns who joined them were called “Colettines”. The Poor Clares of Versailles belonged to this branch of the Franciscan Order. Some of their most important dates are : The apparitions of Our Lady at Bernadette, Lourdes 1858; Installation of Poor Clares Colettines at Versailles in 1860 ; Chapel consecrated in 1867 to the Immaculate Conception; Departure regretted of the Poor Clares in June 1999; and October 12, 2008, resumption of worship during the month of the Rosary of the year of the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady in Lourdes: “I am the Immaculate Conception”.

The congregation official Catholic site in French of the chapelle de l’Immaculate Conception in Versailles

I like to take rememberence to the Hôpital Richaud, a venerable institution in Versailles who have seen its better days.  I have been in it and still have some pictures as to when it began to be change unfortunately. The Units have been transferred next door to a modern facility ,and the old hospital is been transformed into a luxury condo,apartment complex, the only building left will be the Chapel. The Chapel was, in the Convent of the Augustinians of Versailles or Couvent de la Reine, dedicated to the education of young ladies founded by Queen Marie Leszczynka,wife of Louis XV. It was done in 1772. It is very near my old home and easy to get here from Paris as my old route was from the Gare Rive Droite  Versailles on the Line Paris St Lazare, La Défense. If you are in city center Versailles by the rive gauche station nearest the palace you can take local bus phebus lines A, H, or G, arrêt/stop  Gare Rive Droite. Or do a nice walk and enjoy the wonderful historical and elegant architecture of Versailles!


L’hôpital Richaud, also known as the  Hôpital Royal de Versailles is completely restored and transformed since 2015 in housing, shops and liberal professions offices. The hospital is located in the Notre-Dame district in the center of Versailles near the Rive-Droite train station (my old neighborhood) . It is located also in this district and near the Notre-Dame Church, Lambinet Museum, Hoche High School and Saint-Jean-Hulst Private School. Two underground car parks have been dug on either side of the building, one under the bd de la Reine named Reine-Richaud and managed by Urbis Park, at the entrance rue du Maréchal Foch, and the another under the Place du Marché Notre-Dame, managed by Indigo.


This hospital Richaud has a long history since at its origin was the house of charity created by king Louis XIII in 1636 The construction work of the Royal Hospital of Versailles spread over a long period of nearly 80 years,and was not finishing until 1859. The site was assigned a hospital function: first modest ‘charity house’ held by the Daughters of St. Vincent de Paul, the institution has seen its patient attendance grow over the years   until the 1960s.

After the transfer of activities to the Hôpital Mignot hospital site in 1981, the site goes through many years of neglect. This hospital is next to my boys high school in Le Chesnay now new town of Le Chesnay-Rocquencourt (as of Jan 2019) , just a street over from the city of Versailles!  City of le Chesnay-Rocquencourt and the Hospital Mignot

In November 2009, the real estate promotor organisation ,OGIC acquired almost the entire Royal Hospital of Versailles from the French State via the town to turn it into housing, with 20% of social housing, shops and gardens . The opening to the public of the whole of the Carré des Siècles,(square of centuries) new name given to the real estate site was made in April 2015. It is a block of housing (317 dwellings including 66 upscale apartments and 91 social housing or students), shops (five in number) and offices ( nearly 3000 m2), with a cultural space that can accommodate exhibitions or concerts, a daycare of 66 cradles and 10.000 m2 of public gardens.

The renovated chapel, now Space Richaud, now hosts exhibitions, the largest as of this date being the one dedicated to the Little Prince, as well as plays in the context of the month of Molière.

Some webpages to help you see more of the site of Richaud are

City of Versailles and the Space Richaud

Tourist office of Versailles on the hospital and chapel restore

General Hospital Richaud of Versailles today

And there you can see it, you can go in and visit the espace Richaud or old royal Chapel and see still the beauty of it. Just another gem in my beloved Versailles, do see it, and behold. Versailles is a lot more than a palace!

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






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