The family living room of king Louis-Philippe is one of my preferred rooms of the right wing of the Grand Trianon. In the beginning there were two rooms, a bedroom and an anteroom of the first apartment of Louis XIV. Under Napoleon I these were the Officers room and the Princes room.
King Louis-Philippe joined the two rooms into a living room intended for the meetings of the royal family and their guests.
Paintings on mythological subjects date from the end of the 17th century.
The furniture was made by Brion and Jacob-Desmalter. The princesses could arrange their needlework in numbered drawers of the family work-tables.
It is a very beautiful, very clear living room with beautiful harmonies of colours.
This very beautiful gallery, 52 m long and 7 m broad, ends the right wing of the Grand Trianon palace and leads towards Trianon-sous-Bois (not visited).
The building shelters the flower beds from the northern wind.
The gallery contains the collection of 21 paintings of the painter Jean Cotelle carried out about 1690 at the request of the King Louis XIV. These paintings describe the gardens of Trianon and Versailles such as they were at the time of the king.
They are historical documents which served for the recent restoration of the gardens of Versailles.
They were replaced by other paintings under Napoleon but found again their place in the gallery in 1913.
Remarkable are also the 5 Empire crystal chandeliers with 24 lights which came from the crystal manufacture of Montcenis.
In the niches there are sculptures of Lespingola representing children.
Louis-Philippe transformed the gallery into dining room.
This use of this beautiful gallery is still actual. The Cotelle Gallery can be rented for private events and can contain 200 people.
This would be a fine place for a next international VT meeting on condition of finding a very generous sponsor!
Versailles is a "must see", if only to understand what grandeur a human mind could create. The gardens are created to be seen from the "God's eye" perch of the parterres.
The Hall of Mirrors is now reopened.
Versailles is outside Paris proper. You can use your Paris Museum pass at Versailles, but for more access get the Versailles Passport. You can buy your Versailles Passport online, although you must commit to a certain date. Either way gets you out of the long ticket line once you are there.
Versailles is mostly the creation of Louis XIV (5 September 1638 – 1 September 1715), designed to express and reinforce his power. The daily routine in the chateau reinforced the power further as did the gardens, which are created to be seen from the "God's eye" perch of the parterres.
My Versailles page is in progress. Most people focus on the chateau itself and give the gardens a quick look-see, but that's a mistake. The gardens have both wide vistas and small secluded areas that delight. So my pictures on this tip are the gardens.
It was not without emotion that I pushed my head in the entry - one does not go further - of the theatre of Marie-Antoinette. This simple building located at a hundred meters of the palace of the Petit Trianon contains an oval room which was the private theatre of the Queen. It was built in 1780 by the architect Richard Mique.
It is a charming little theatre with decorative pasteboard sculptures, with blue hangings, a gold-embroidered curtain. The stage is larger than the auditorium.
It is an interesting theatre from the technical point of view because the machinery is the original one from the period and the decoration is also original though restored. Close to the entry one can see a video explaining the lighting of this theatre by the means of candles.
It is also a moving place which reveals the personality of Marie-Antoinette always in search of entertainments and who liked to perform on scene. She was very elegant but it is known as that she sang better than she played roles.
This place is also an example of the thoughtlessness, even more, the political unconsciousness of Marie-Antoinette. By holding the representations with a public of close friends she induced jealousy among the nobility which was not invited. Moreover she played, against the will of King Louis XVI, the role of Rosine in “the Barber of Seville” of Beaumarchais, an obvious satire of the nobility whereas the spirit of the revolution was already moving in France.
The empress of Austria Maria -Theresa told her daughter Marie-Antoinette, who had in no way inherited the political cleverness of her mother, to stop performing.
By itself this small artificial cave located between the "Belvedere" and the "Orangerie" (N° 9 on the tourist map of the “Field of Marie-Antoinette”) has nowadays nothing charming but the Queen liked to take refuge there near the small pond which is overlooked by the "Belvedere".
She was indeed in the cave on this afternoon of October 5th, 1789 when a page brought a message announcing that the Parisian rioters, mainly women and some revolutionary leaders disguised as women, were marching on Versailles and that she was requested at the castle.
King Louis XVI had been meanwhile found in the woods where he was hunting as usual.
Some members of the royal council advised them to flee Versailles but the King, as always, hesitated.
It was the last day in Versailles of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. The beginning of their tragic end.
Hmmm im on the fence with this review. Yes the interior was nice but couldnt get past the fact that I felt like cattle being hearded from room to room. Couldnt wait to get outside and roam free. The gardens were beauiful
When visiting the drawing-rooms of Venus, Abundance, Diane and Mars one can imagine going back a few centuries and attend one of the evening receptions which Louis XIV offered to the Court in his Grand Apartments three times per week from 18 to 22 h. The festivities began with music, dances, parts of billiards in the Diane room (the king played billiards very well) and cards.
A light dinner was served in the Venus room on silver tables weighing more than 300 kg. These tables were covered with dishes, vases, candlesticks in silver like all the furniture. In the Abundance room were the dressers, also in silver, for fine liquors, wines, tea, coffee and hot chocolate.
The rooms were lit by thousands of candles. The Mars room was the ballroom.
The Venus drawing-room owes its name to the mythological painting of the ceiling by Houasse. The room is decorated with "trompe l'oeil" paintings which give the effect to be sculptures and of a statue of Louis XIV.
The rather small room known as "Abundance room" owes its name to the painting of the ceiling representing “Abundance and the Liberality” of the painter Rene-Antoine Houasse (1683). The room opened on the Cabinet of Curiosities which contained the royal collections.
I liked the walls covered with an emerald green and gold velvet (restored in 1955) what contrasts with other decorations of the Royal Apartments. As we can see it today the décor of the "Salon de l'Abondance" goes back to King Louis Philippe. In the Diane drawing-room stands a remarkable bust of the king by the Italian sculptor Le Bernin.
In that period all the rooms of the "Grands Appartements du Roi" were decorated with silver furniture. There remains nothing of it. In December 1689 the King had all the silver furniture of his Apartments melted down to finance his wars. That represented 20 tons of silver. All these beautiful artefacts in silver had cost 10 million "livres" (pounds) of that time; Louis XIV obtained only 2 million livres. An enormous destruction of art!
I read here "Versailles is mostly the creation of Louis XIV (23 August 1754 – 21 January 1793)"
To avoid confusion Louis XIV was born in 1638 and died in 1715.
It was Louis XVI, born in 1754, who died on the guillotine in 1793!
Unfortunately we chose the 25th december for visiting Versailles. The castle was closed!! You have to know that my husband and I never plan some details. So we baught tickets for a train to see the gardens of Versailles. Although the castle was closed we spent 5 hours there.
With more than 700 rooms the Château de Versailles is one of the largest castles in the world. A visit to Versailles to view all the rooms and grounds will take you a full day.
More information to come.
Maybe the most beautiful room in the palace (if it is possible to choose one) is the Hall of Mirrors where glass is dominant.
Seventeen large mirrors face seventeen windows, with sparkling chandeliers enhancing light and colours.
The chandeliers opened a market to lead crystal, with "Versailles" style challenging Murano or Bohemia.
In the huge, rich and magnificent complex of Versailles the statue of Louis XIV seems... poor and discreet.
The ambitious and vainglorious king would cut some heads if he could return and judge his sucessors.
It's one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture in that time period. The chateau is ornate and the designs and gardens exemplified symmetry and precision. The history of this edifice is well-kept and you can see many of the thrones the kings used at that time.
A trip to France is not complete until you have visited Versailles. Versailles is such a beautiful and grand place. The Palace is incredible in both size and in luxury. The history, artwork, the furnishings and the architecture is magnificent. The grounds with their statues and fountains are unbelievale. To think that this was once the home of Kings and Queens......what a life the Royalty lead.
If you have time for only one daytrip from Paris, my vote would go to Versailles, Louis XIV's opulent palace about 40 minutes away by RER train. It's easy to get to and of the chateaux and palaces I've seen within a day's range of Paris, this is the one that impressed me the most. Try to pick a sunny warm day to visit, the gardens and Marie Antoinette's estate are best enjoyed in lovely weater. The fountains are only turned on certain days, I believe it's just Saturday but check the website to be sure. I've visited three times and still haven't seen them turned on. Admission is more expensive on those days.
Versailles is included on the Paris Museum Pass, if you don't have one of those, it's highly recommended to pre purchase tickets before heading out although on my last visit in July 2011, the ticket line took less time than the security line.
You can easily spend the good part of a day here, try to visit early before the crowds start forming or you'll be jockeying with 100s of people for a peek at the rooms.
For more tips on visiting, you can visit my Versailles page
We were hoping to get tickets to fireworks-show at Versailles. They would have had fireworks, lights and music, and actors dressed like in times of kings living in Versailles. But we didn´t get the tickets, we didn´t know it should have been booked very early, because the tickets are quite limited. But when we got to Versailles, I think it was good we didn´t get the tickets. It was so cold! I don´t remeber being freezing as much in summer (in July!!!) for ages!! How can it be so cold, when day before it was most warmest day of our two weeks.
We thought we would get in quick, because we had bought tickets from tourist office a day before. But we noticed, that allmost everyone had bought tickets before! I have never standed in so long line, in freezing wind, rain coming and we had no coats! (Couln´t think of getting so cold after yesterday). I think we waited allmost two hours to get in! I´m not actually sure was it worth it. In sunny day it would have been different of course, but in this weather.. Actually we didn´t like the palace so much as people seem to do. It is way to "bling bling" for us. You just felt like you watched how many ways you can spent money if you have it too much. The garden was nicer than the palace, and Marie Antoinettes estate were more interesting. Those old farm-looking houses were cute, and I liked them much more. There was also a small palace, witch was nicer than this most famous big one. I think we owuldn´t have missed a thing, if we wouldn´t have gone inside the big palace. I think many of you think I´m grazy saying this, but it´s my/our opinion. I wish all of you going there would at least have better weather, so you could enjoy the garden better and wont freeze out ;) When we went, the fountains were supposed to be on all the time, but they didn´t work right and kept turning off. There was voice saying they are sorry every now and then. And when the fountains were on, the water went wetting the people because of the wind. It didn´t go up, it went left or right..
If you think I wrote like this because of the weather, it´s not only that. We prefer old stone castles than glittering palaces. They just don´t get us exaited. If I would have known better, I might have taken the tickets only to Marie Antoinettes estate hameau and garden. Before we found them, I thought the place was totally wrong for us.
I hope no-one gets angry when I say this so straight. But I like to be honest. And as I said, the garden and Marie Antoinettes place wwere nice.
If you don´t feel like walking, you can rent a little car. Like a golf car, but it was about 25e for an hour! Bikes were cheaper, but we did walk.