Temple de l’Amour, Petit Trianon!

Ok so need to come back to my royal town of Versailles. My love always remembered wonderful times, and great family outings when lived here. Now I have come back for visits several times from my outpost on the Breton coast and written many posts on the city as a whole. However, there is always some details missing that are worth a post of their own. This is the case of the temple of love or Temple de l’Amour in the Petit Trianon of the Domaine de Versailles!

Versailles

I love the history of it and of course is all about love indeed!

Completed in 1778, the Temple de l’Amour built  in an antique style, is erected on an islet of the artificial river to the east of the jardin anglais in the Petit Trianon. The tholos, placed on a raised platform of seven steps, includes twelve Corinthian columns which support a dome decorated with boxes, whose bas-reliefs represent the symbols of love. The sculpture in the center of the temple is a copy executed by Louis-Philippe Mouchy, another 18C sculptor, of Love cutting an arc in the club of Hercules, by Edmé Bouchardon, statue preserved in the Louvre museum.

This small antique rotunda is neoclassical factories of the English garden(jardin anglais) imagined by Queen Marie-Antoinette that she could contemplate from the windows of the castle of Petit Trianon. When Marie-Antoinette, very young queen, took possession of the Petit Trianon in June 1774, she became enthusiastic for its charm and its simple and elegant decoration and quickly evoked her desire to reshape the landscape seen from her windows, including the botanical garden Louis XV spoiled the attraction. On the contrary, in reference to Greek and Roman Antiquity, she preferred a temple to be used as a canopy to the statue of a Love. the windows of the Queen, and in particular those of her boudoir or her bedroom in the Petit Trianon, opening onto this perspective You could also see the temple from the king’s bedroom in the attic! Its inauguration gave rise to a brilliant celebration on September 3, 1778. Another reception was given on the occasion of the visit, in August 1781, of Joseph II, brother of Marie-Antoinette, during which thousands of fascines were burned in the ditches so that the temple appeared as the most shiny from the garden.

A bit on the architecture, construction of the Temple de l’Amour in the Petit Trianon gardens.

Versailles

The marble temple is in neoclassical style. The peripteral tholos, placed on a platform 14 meters in diameter and raised by seven steps, includes twelve Corinthian alabaster columns which support a dome decorated with caissons made of Conflans stone. Sculptures adorn the capitals of the columns with, at the cutter, four suns and four dolphin tails, eight tigettes and small florets, eight large and eight medium masses each split into five olive leaves, with smooth ribs in the middle and rich cuffs at their ends These ornaments were reproduced identically on one of the facades of the Petit Trianon castle then on the Gabriel wing and the Dufour pavilion of the Palace of Versailles

In the dome, the central trophy, about 2 meters in diameter, is made up of the attributes of Love such as crowns of roses, quiver, sautoir brandons, arrows tied with ribbons and entwined with roses and olive leaves; it is bordered by  a torus of roses tied with rotating ribbons . The entire central composition is surrounded by one hundred and twenty rosettes, arranged in five rows, in rotating acanthus leaves with seeds in boxes bordered with oves . The interior and exterior entablatures are thus formed: cornices, roses, modillions and moldings of heart raises, oves and pearls; with friezes, braids with double florets and pearls; with architraves, leaves of water and pearls with, with soffits, sixty rosettes and one hundred and twenty florets. The floor is in veined white marble, with compartments bordered in red, the inter-layers being embedded with bands of Flanders marble. The island is connected to the vast lawns of the two banks by two planked bridges formerly furnished with boxes of flowers

The center of the temple, the statue of a Love with Love cutting an arc in the club of Hercules. The sculpture in the center of the temple is also a replica, with an identical height of 1.75 meters. It was sent, during the French revolution, to the Special Museum of the French School then to the orangery of the castle of Saint-Cloud , before resuming its place in the center of the Temple of Love in 1816.  The original was transferred to the Louvre palace on the orders of Queen Marie-Antoinette where it is kept today.  In the meantime, in 1805, replaced the missing statue by a group representing Venus and the Love of Vasse.

The official Château de Versailles webpage on the English garden and the Temple of love in English: Versailles palace and the temple of love

I must say been all over the property even to parts not open to the public as I am friends of the palace, but the Petit Trianon is special. We used to come here on weekends to jog around play with the boys and had our lunch at the terrace in Angelina before going to Jardin anglais and the Temple de l’Amour walks to end our day. Memories forever: Versailles is unique. Hope you enjoy the tour and see my other posts on Versailles.

Versailles

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

2 Comments to “Temple de l’Amour, Petit Trianon!”

  1. Great post. I visited here with my parents in January. We also loved eating at Angelina’s. The desserts there were amazing

    Liked by 1 person

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