Archive for June 30th, 2022

June 30, 2022

The Hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs of Versailles!

And back again to update this wonderful post of a venerable monument of my dear Versailles.  The de facto Capital of France! The royal and imperial city of France, my home for 9 glorious years! I like to take you into another off the beaten path site in my beloved city. If you move out of the castle and come to know the city a bit more, you will learn not only French history but World history as well. I like to enlighten you into know a bit more on the Hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs.

The Hôtel des Menus Plaisirs is located at 22 Avenue de Paris. It remained famous in the history of France for having welcomed the Assembly of the Notables of 1787, that of 1788 and above all the General Estates of 1789, the last that the former regime had experienced. It is an integral part of the history of France, and a must to visit even if today has other functions, read on…

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A bit of history I like

This hotel was built on orders of king Louis XV around 1745, in order to house the decoration workshops and the equipment of the games related to the festivities of the King and the Court called “Menus-plaisirs”. It will include sports accessories (especially for jeu de paume play), theater sets, musical instruments.etc.. There are also workshops for models, costumes, paintings and other sculptures, In 1759, the hotel also contains a physics office installed by Abbé Nollet for the instruction of the children of France, starting with the future Louis XVI. The architectural ensemble then revolves around two buildings located at different levels. The lower court opens on No. 22, avenue de Paris, while the High Court is located by No. 19 rue des Etats Géneraux. It was at the site of the latter court that a provisional room hosted a meeting of notables in 1787, then end 1788. On the inside, the sovereign is then installed under a canopy, located in front of the covered staircase which currently provides communication between the two courtyards. The three orders (nobles laymen ,and clerby) are seated separately in the stands arranged in horseshoes, while high grandstands greet the public.

It was in this room that the abolition of privileges was voted in 1789 and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was made. The Hôtel des Menus Plaisirs includes the election of Maximilian Robespierre as president of the District Court. The judges of the Criminal court settled there in 1792, waiting for the former bailiwick to be transformed into a house of justice. Thereafter, the hotel serves as a food store for the army, although many theater props are still kept on reserve, which also stirs up the lust of directors of Parisian halls who regularly come to used (take) them.

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The Hôtel des Menus Plaisirs was transformed into a barracks for the volunteers of the Gendarmerie (police) Corps, it became a center of distribution of bread for the troops before being finally sold to a certain Dubusc in 1800. However, the prefect ordered the cancellation of the sale a year later, but already the damage is done: In the meantime, the buyer has unfortunately already demolished a large part of the historic premises including the famous room of the General Estates! . The hotel would then become a cavalry barracks, then be abandoned for more than a century until the city of Versailles installed its technical services in 1942. The State will restore these places as part of the celebrations of the bicentennial of the French revolution in 1989.

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Under the restoration, it was tried to return to its first assignment, but without regaining the glow of the pre-revolution festivities. After the revolution of 1830, the Hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs became a conservatory of music under the name of Royal School of Music and Declamation. Since 1996, part of the hotel is now home to the Baroque music Center of Versailles. The remains of the Hall of the General Estates remain in the high courtyard used for the recess of the students of the Centre de Musique Baroque in Versailles. The pavements of the ground expose the layout of the hall, with the Royal Tribune at the bottom, the grandstands for the nobility and the clergy on the sides, the Great Tribune for the third-state in front which can be seen today.

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The official Baroque music center on the Hôtel des Menus Plaisirs of Versailleshttps://cmbv.fr/fr

The official Château de Versailles on the Hôtel des Menus Plaisirs : https://en.chateauversailles.fr/centre-musique-baroque-versailles#the-centre-de-musique-baroque-de-versailles-a-unique-institution

There you go folks, Indeed a must for the lovers of architecture and history of France and the world really a must to see. Just come out of the palace on avenue de Paris and walk up the Hôtel Menus Plaisirs is on the right hand side of the street and just a few minutes easily accessable. Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

June 30, 2022

The Museum promenade/Aqueduct of Marly le Roi !!

And here I am again updating this wonderful post in Marly le Roi, the Yvelines dept 78 of the ïle de France region. This is heavens ,history, architecture and good views all over. I have seen a lot but just touching the surface, there is so much more to see in my belle France! I like to tell you about a walk, promenade, that became a museum. About an idea of an aqueduct that became just a dream, and about impressionists painters, some of the best all in one area. This is Marly-le-roi and Louveciennes towns. I passed by them often and even visited Franco-American friends at Marly-le-roi. Not to mention walked these places of history and beautiful quant villages/towns.

You will walked/visit the national domain of Marly-le-Roi , even if today there is nothing left of the castle of the time, pavilions and basins built for king Louis XIV, (thanks to the French revolution) , the estate retains a royal charm with its many aisles, its statues and the remains of the old buildings. You can visit the Musée-Promenade de Marly-le-Roi-Louveciennes , The museum traces and illustrates, with the help of an interactive model of the estate and its fine arts collections , archaeology and decorative arts, the splendour of the ancient residence of the Sun King. Models and technical objects present the famous machine of Marly, admirable hydraulic prowess, built under king Louis XIV to supply water to the fountains of Marly and Versailles. A room is dedicated to the favorite of king Louis XV, Madame du Barry, and to Madame Vigée Lebrun, portraitist of Marie-Antoinette, both residents of  Louveciennes. The museum regularly offers temporary exhibitions, animations, guided tours, lectures, concerts…etc.

Marly le Roi

Think of going back down to the village in front of the sublime place de l’Abreuvoir which served as a diverting the waters of the gardens of the estate. Now to the banks of the Seine river, whose changing and dazzling colors attracted many painters: Corot, Sisley, Pissaro, all painted these recognizable views from Port-Marly. Many have come to settle there to enjoy the tranquility of this pretty town on the banks of the Seine. Follow the banks of the Seine, and you will discover the representations of the most beautiful impressionist paintings, posed, at the same place where the painters laid their easels! In the program « Le village de Voisins »  (neighbors) painted by Pissarro in 1872, the « Barrage de la Machine de Marly » (Dam ) by Alfred Sisley or the « Route de Versailles » by Renoir.

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The aqueduct of Louveciennes, sometimes called the aqueduct of Marly, is a aqueduct bridge built in the 17C during the reign of king Louis XIV. Located in the town of Louveciennes (Bougival also claim it !) in the Yvelines dept 78. It was part of the hydraulic system designed to supply water to the gardens of the Château de Marly and the park of the Château de Versailles from the Seine river. The aqueduct was composed of 36 arches. Its length was 643 meters for a width varying from 2 to 4.4 meters and a height of 10 to 20 meters; a monumental machine, the machine of Marly, located on the Seine river below, at the height of Bougival, pumped the water of the river with the aid of fourteen impeller’s washers . By pipes laid on two paved ramps, it made it climb the nearly 150 meters of elevation of Louveciennes Hill. The aqueduct was taken out of service in 1866 and replaced by underground pipes during the Siege of Paris in 1870, the Tower of the Levant served as an observation post to the future Emperor William 1er and to Chancellor Bismarck. This tower was renovated between 1998 and 2000.

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The city of Marly le Roi on the museum : https://www.marlyleroi.fr/Mus%C3%A9e-du-Domaine-royal-de-Marly/73/

The Seine St Germain en Laye tourist office on the Royal Domaine museum of Marly le Roi : https://www.seine-saintgermain.fr/en/file/760663/musee-du-domaine-royal-de-marly/

The Association Friends of the Domaine de Marly to keep it and improve it nicely for the future : https://www.amis-domaine-marly.fr/

The Seine St Germain en Laye tourist office on the Louveciennes aqueduct : https://www.seine-saintgermain.fr/en/file/4883554/aqueduc/

There you folks, there is a lot more to see than castles here, and you should enjoy it all surrounded by lush surrounding in noble French traditions. Marly le Roi is a chic nice place to stroll and see the wonders of my belle France, Hope you enjoy it as I

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

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