Château de Versailles and al. !!!

And I continue with nostalgia and great memorable moments in my blog. This is a town I know very well, of course lived here!! This is Versailles where we spent 9 years of our lives in France and keep many nice memorable moments. We have re visited and have several, many posts on it in my blog. However, I like to tell you more of if from my brochures and as Friends of the Castle since 2004. This the Château de Versailles and al or dependencies around town. Hope you enjoy it as I.

And I bring you back to my beloved Versailles, the castle of France ! My playground with my boys and Friends of the Castle since 2004, I love to tell you more and this time on my historical point of view, we love it, Therefore, let me tell you a bit more in my black and white series, no pictures of this wonderful Château de Versailles and al. !!!

Let me tell you about the Hemicircle of Versailles. This is where France entire parliament and President must come if there are changes in the Constitution to have it approve here per law of the French Republic! It is in the aile de Midi or central wing of the palace, I have it separate for my own, You can think of the democracy in the palace of the royal absolutism, Do not forget that it was here that the parlamentary democracy was born. As from May 5 1789 Louis XVI convenes the General Estates or Etats Généraux in the Hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs (see post), By June 17 they were auto proclaimed the National Assambly and name it officially by July 9 1789, It was here that the Declaration of the Rights of Men and Citizens was created, In this big parlamentary room in the aile du Midi is not visited. The parlamentarians only come when there are changes to the French Constitution so they don’t visit either.

When the end of the Second Empire (Napoléon III) the government of Adolph Thiers comes here but stays at the Royal Opera and the Galerie des Glaces serves as dormitory! Also, here in Versailles in 1875 is when the Republic is definitively proclaimed with a bicameral parliament. The senators stayed in the Opera Royal and the deputies or representatives came to the Hemicircle. The first seance takes place March 6 1876 ,however, from June 19 1879 they return to Paris at the Palais Bourbon for the deputies (Assamblée Nationale) and the Palais du Luxembourg (Senat) for the Senators. The last President of the French Republic elected in Versailles was René Coty in 1953 by the parliament. After the universal suffrage came into being,as today.

The workshop masters guarantie the furniture with restorations and conservation of the Palace of Versailles, There is a team of about four that is in charge to restore the furniture in their shop at the Petite Ecurie. Another team in the street level (1fl US) of the Pavillon Durfour they restore papers, designs and stamps of the collection in the palace, There is the renovation of the textiles from curtains to sheets etc at the same shop.

Next comes the Académie Equestre that is in the Grande Ecurie across the street. When Bartabas came here in 2003 it actually may have save this stables with the Académie du Spectacles Equestre built at the end of the 17C and regardless of the name the same size as the Petite Ecuries, They were to host 600 horses of the king and their teams, Under Louis XIV and Louis XV it hosted sumptuous parties too, After the end of the monarchy, the Grande Ecurie falls into dismay until Bartabas came to the rescue and they have incredibles shows here that we have attended over the years!!The horses of Lusitanians, sorayas, Arab pure blood and Criollos Argentine on the rhythm of baroque music they give glory to the stables of Versailles. They are now running the la voie de l’écuyer or the way of the squire opening after the winter break on February 19 and the show will run into March 2022.

I did several post on the gardens so will highlight here the 43 km of aisles, 29 km of trees pretty big where we ran played ball with my sons ,awesome! The Grand Canal, Allée Royale and Basin de Latone were done before the galerie des Glaces just as hunting came first. The Grand Canal has 23 hectares (about 59 acres) and wonderful to go around and the boats ! From the Parterre d’Eau with its bronce statues to the Grand Canal you have what is known as the Grand Perspective , a postcard view ! There on the left side as you enter the Orangerie with its 100 steps stair, For winter the trees goes into the cathedral building for safekeeping , it was built between 1684 and 1688 by Hardouin Mansart, There is an equestrian statue ordered by Colbert in carrera marbre by Le Bernin it is Louis XIV, he did not like it wanted to destroyed but modifications by Girardon inspirant Marcus Curtius a Roman heroe that is thrown to the flames to save the Republic he like it(Little did he know the French Republic!), On a sadder anecdote here trees along were not kept, During the Commune of Paris in 1871 they were sent prisioners here including Gustave Courbet the painter ! However, when in October the trees needed to be put in, the prisioners were sent elsewhere or executed to make room !

You have several groves (bosquets) where in replacing the bosquet des Sources 32 columns ionic and pilastres of marbre rose bleu and violet enclosed in 28 white vases was done, the Colonnade. You have the bosquet des Bains d’Apollon, bosquet des Rocailles, aka as salle de bal, the bosquet de l’Arc de Triomphe with the fountain of triumphant France, and the terrifying sculpture in the bosquet de lEncelade,are some of my favorites. You also, have several basins (bassins) such as the Bassin d’Apollon and the char d’Apollon or Apolo’s chariot basin, the bassin de Latone wiht its goddes first wife of Jupiter, Diana link to the moon and Apolo god of the sun. You know to feed the 34 basins, 2000 fountains and 700 water jets Louis XIV tried to change the flow of the waters of the Eure river, made a barrack in the Bievre, and build the Machine de Marly just for the Grande Eaux of Versailles. You have tunnels underground that are taken care daily as they are originals ! At the Bassin de Latone, the fountain has cowweb tangle of pipes soldered with lime and stamped with the fleur-de-lis. Another nice one is the bassin de Neptune god of the seas and the oceans the biggest basin in Versailles, Bassin du Dragon, is another nice one we like.

You come to the more known already written on them such as the Grand Trianon with its beautiful galerie de Cotelle of the 17C, This was called the Trianon of marbres with columns rose opened by Louis XIV in 1688 in company of Madame de Maintenon,The beautiful Salon Rond or round room was the vestibule to the apartments of Louis XIV, And the loggia that connects teh north and central buildings with 8 columns in campan green and red marbre with flat top hidden by a balustrade, Today, the furniture dates from Napoleon Ier that have refurnished after the French revolution. The Grand Trianon becomes too small so Mansart builts the Trianon sous Bois in 1708 for the princess Palatine, and her children, Peter the Great stayed here in 1717 and Napoléon 1er played billiards,and Louis Philippe feast the marriage of his daughter princess Marie with the duke Alexander de Würtemberg, You then enter into the room of the Republic that hosted General De Gaulle between 1962 and 1967 he had it done to host heads of State here such as the Queen of England, Belgian kings, the Shah of Iran, Presidents Nixon and Carter of the USA Also, Brezhnev and Yeltsin USSR.

Then you come to the Petit Trianon my sentimental favorite as it was my grounds to played with my boys and dear late wife Martine, memories forever. The Petit Trianon was built between 1762 and 1769 at the request of Madame de Pompadour, and had three levels in a neo classic style. However, it was Marie Antoinette who gave it the personal touch, the rooms are as when she left them on October 5 1789. You can visit the Queen’s bedroom , A beautiful escalier d’honneur or main staircase and the Chapel and the little theater, The garden has a wonderful temple à l’Amour or temple of love done in 1778 by Richard Mique. All white marbre with 12 Corinthian columns with a dome that house a replica of the Cupid cutting his bow in the club of Hercules done by Louis Philippe Mouchy. The little theater is between the hill and the English garden and connected to the Petit Trianon by a gallery of green wood opened in 1780, one of the most beautiful historical theater of Europe ! Indeed it is!!!Inside is gold white and black with the white marbre fake, the machine is from Boulet the same of the Opera de Paris that make it easy to change scenes and decorations, There Marie Antoinette creates her own group of performers called the troop of lords, She plays as much as in front of 200 works of Sedaine, Grétry, Favart, or Rousseau, It was known that she said, « here I am no longer a queen ,but me » There is a nice belvedere with an artificial pond and a pavillion of music in an octagonal layout done by Richard Mique in 1778.

You come now to the Hameau of Marie Antoinette, which by the porte Saint Antoine was the closest to come by car and walk in free to the gardens as we did. The fashion of nature (as today?) inspired by Jean Jacques Rousseau prompts Marie Antoinette to do this hamlet, built between 1783 and 1785 again by Richard Mique. The main building has two sections, on the right the house of the queen and on the left the house of billiards connected by a gallery in wood from where the queen could see her village. On the tour Malborough you have fishing material, At the north of the Hameau you could connect with the Arboretum de Chévreloup, After the French revolution Napoléon renovates the Hameau for Marie Louise the niece of Marie Antoinette that will furnished them while demolishing the builldings in bad conditions.

The official Château de Versailles:

The city of Versailles on the palace:

There you go folks, the grandeur of France before your eyes, yes crowded, yes busy, but you are still coming and for a good reason. There is no other castle/palace/museum that can equal it for architecture, history and just a beautiful property. My Versailles, my Palace of Versailles. Hope you enjoy the post and help in your next visit when possible.

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

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