The Belvedere du Petit Trianon of Versailles!!!

Here I am bringing you back to my beloved Versailles of wonderful family times living in one of the most visited cities in the world, for good reason. The Domaine de Versailles is a masterpiece all over, and not just the castle/château when we say Domaine it means the whole incluing the gorgeous little Petit Trianon (see post) and its Belvedere and Rock. I have mentioned it briefly in previous posts, therefore, let me tell you a bit more on them in one deserving post.Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Belvédère du Petit Trianon ,or Pavillon du rocher, (Rock pavilion) is a neoclassical garden factory, erected between 1778 and 1781 by Richard Mique, for the queen of France Marie-Antoinette, within the English Garden of the Petit Trianon, in the Domaine de Versailles. We used to go a lot as our jogging leisure walks were by there along the Allée Saint Antoine road coming off the Porte Saint Antoine (see post) by entrance on the Bd Saint Antoine. Walking in on your right you had first the Hameau of Marie Antoinette (see post). Glorious !!! 

Versailles belvedere and grotte gardens hameau apr11

It is a small pavilion of octagonal architecture, it is part of the factories arranged in the new garden of the Petit Trianon by the architect of the Queen and serves as a music room. It is flanked by an artificial rock from which a waterfall springs and is surrounded by miniature mountains, the whole forming an alpine garden. It is guarded by eight stone sphinxes , and the decoration of the eight facades, whose bas-reliefs are an allegory to the four seasons and whose pediments are decorated with the attributes of hunting and gardening. The interior lounge is luxuriously decorated, the arabesques painted on stucco represent scenes from nature, the floor is paved with marble and the ceiling, evokes cherubs moving in a blue sky.

For the realization of this English garden, one applies the ideas of the return to nature of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, which one mixes abrupt changes of decoration, characteristics of the countryside of across the Channel, and French intellectual and literary notes.. A sign of this landscape instability, the belvédère, the only element visible from the castle, appears isolated, while, from the other side of the small lake, it is integrated into a rugged landscape The belvédère is the main building of this alpine garden , itself an integral part of the Anglo-Chinese garden thus created.

This small octagonal pavilion, surmounted by a lead dome hidden by a balustrade, stands on a hill overlooking the small lake. Its exterior architecture is octagonal while the interior is circular. The pavilion is raised on a stone plinth also octagonal which accesses four steps guarded by pairs of sphinxes. These were made in 1778 , Very damaged after the French revolution and some even disappeared during the 19C, these statues were restored or copied in Tercé stone; four originals are kept in the reserves, The eight facades of the building are open with four doors and four alternating windows The bas-reliefs overhanging the windows represent seated figures in profile allegory of the four seasons

The pavilion houses a luxurious circular living room, The interior walls are covered with stucco and are painted with arabesques oil , The eastern dome represents cupids in a blue sky, playing with flowers among light clouds, The ground is , paved with a mosaic of turquoise blue, green, veined white and red marble inspired by 16C pavements, This small pavilion was used by Marie-Antoinette as a music room. A piece of furniture of eight shepherdess armchairs and eight chairs with arched backs in plan, like the curve of the room, was delivered in 1781, it was covered with painted white and blue silk and trimmed with luxurious trimmings, Under the Ancien Régime(monarchy) , the pavilion is only furnished when the Queen goes there and only in summer

The Grand Rocher or large rock, whose laborious construction took four years, is the natural counterpart of the belvedere, This artificial mountain, surrounded by conifers, is the very source of the aquatic effect of this little Switzerland sometimes also nicknamed the Alpine garden . From a reservoir located at the back and fed by the Trèfle basin, the waters flow in torrential waters into the lake. A wooden footbridge with a columned pergola for the look. The small lake flows into the meandering river that crosses the English garden to form an island within which is the  temple de l’Amour or temple of love ,and separate into two arms, one of which ends in a ravine intended to conceal the discharge of water and located near the porte verte or green door, Under the Ancien Régime, it is stocked with carp, perch and barbels, for the pleasure of fishing, but also allows rides in boats or gondolas, A landing stage allows easy access to the mountains of the alpine garden

The Palace of Versailles on the English garden and al, :

There you go folks, another dandy beautiful monument in the most beautiful castle property in the world. The Domaine de Versailles and its gorgeous Belvédère and Grand Rocher is a must to see while in Versailles me think.

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

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