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yes the ecuries or stables are many in Versailles been the royal seat of France for many many years, there are all over, most now use for other purposes under the Republic.
You all know about the Grande ecurie and Petite ecurie in front of the castle. These were done in 1682 by the great architect of the king JH Mansart. Even thus the name says Grande ecurie is actually the smaller of the two! as it house the horses of mounted guards,the name comes from the title of the master of the place Grand Ecuyer or great squire who was in charge of these horses;today is the equestrian academy of Bartabas that is there with wonderful spectacles(see sep tip).
In the Petite ecurie were house the carriages, and wagons of the king, and for that it was bigger. Now it is closed to the public as you have the conservatory of arts there where they put together all the repairs of things in the castle and elsewhere by master craftmen.(see sep tip).
You then see the less known to the public, that this long time resident will tell you now.
the ecuries de la reine or queen's stables were at 5 rue Carnot built in 1672 by plans of architect of the castle Louis le Vau. It was first given to the Queen and later to the dauphin or eldest pretender to the throne. At the end of this building there was a small street or impasse des ecuries that took you to the rue de la Paroisse. It was turned into a prison during the French revolution and here a massacre of 13 prisioners took place on september 9 1792. In th next 150 years the stables became headquarters for different regiments of the army finally was given to the ministry of justice that use it today as the cour d'appel or Appellate court.
Near it you have the écuries de Monsieur at 10 rue Carnot, it has a plaque today. here were the horses of the Monsieur or brother of the king Louis XIV. Nothing is there now as the dukes of Orléans renovated them all and much later the Philip Egalité (cousin of Louis XVI)sold all that was left in 1792. He was guillotine in 1794.
We move on to the écuries du comte de provence or stables of the count of provence (brother of Louis XVI), and (later king Louis XVIII) had his at 19 avenue de Paris where he kepts the horses of the countes of Provence. He had carriages here too; it is richly architectual jewel; at the end of the 19C it entered the prestigious corp of the imperial guard, or red lancers as their uniform was all red, they were finally eliminate after the defeat at Waterloo. Today is the Hotel de Police, the commissary of Versailles.
Then you have the écuries du comte d'Artois, built from 1773 at 9ter Edouard Lefébvre, (brother of Louis XVI) he had shops, chapel, squires quarters,and 27 carrriage spaces, and 300 horses! today there are military casernes for CIDAN civic defense and ONAc of veterans of wars. the count of Artois later king Charles X (1824_1830) died in Slovenia in 1836 after many years in exile and he is buried there.
You find the abbreuvoir or watering place for horses in town at the beginning of rue Edouard Lefébvre ending with avenue Sceaux and square francine. There was another one by the Notre Dame district at 19 rue des Réservoirs built in 1735. They were replace for hygene to one at the corners of boulevard de la reine, rue de mouchy, and rue d'Angiviller, and lasted until 1890, where they were finally eliminated. We have postcards of it at the museum Lambinet.
For the ladies not to be outdone we had ecuries or stables too. The Countess de Provence and Artois had theirs at 55 rue d'Anjou. later use by a regiment of cavalry and later under the restauration period by the horses of duchess of Angoulême (daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette). It is today a police or gendarmerie headquarters. The Countess of Artois, sister and sister in law of the Provence, had the old hôtel du duc de La Virillière building at 29 rue du maréchal Joffre,they had 3 carriages, 8 berlines,3 caleches, two dit allemandes or germans, a six seater, one cabriolet, two trainers, 7 two seaters, 3 chariots,and a little garden caleche. A cavalry regiment was set up here too, later the military caserne Denfert, and finally after 1981 the high school, lycée Jules Ferry.
The écuries des gardes du corps or the stables of the body guards, under Louis XIV they were at ave Sceaux and the future rue Royale. at the same place in 1730 , Duke of Noailles governor of VErsailles made the Cercle militaire de Croy, which you entered by 30 rue de Sceaux, with a portal given to rue Royale,(corner with rue du Gen Leclerc) built after 1778. Today, its occupant is the FRench army. These body guards were eliminated in 1791.
A prestigious light cavalry existed in Versailles, this was the guard of the King. The horses were kept in a hotel at ave de Sceaux from 1741. At the place that today bears their name in French, les Cheveau-Légers. Been small they were enlarged towards rue du général Leclerc and Satory. At No 17 rue des cheveau-légers you have the inscription today "sensere gigantes" or kill the gents. The block on which it is, suggest that they were in the hand of Jupiter, the King, for eliminate the enemy.
The Hôtel des Gens d'Armes or the hotel of armed people....(my best) was at 6 avenue de Paris.another house the horses, built for the kings body guards in 1735,and serve the French army until 1908. You have a small caserne or military post behind the petite écuries built in 1851. Another at the entry to the now hotel Pullman 2bis avenue de Paris; others at the shopping gallery now at avenue du général de Gaulle and has the inscription 'les manéges' right in front of train station rive gauche. It is by here that we used to go to the La Maréchalerie, old annex of the petite écuries du roi, where the personnel used to go in,and supplies were carry in. Today there is a center for contemporary arts, the architecture school of Versailles.
In Versailles all the auberges or lodging places had spaces for horses. The transport between Versailles and Paris or the province wre organised around horse wagon carriages, where the terminus was at todays's Rue Saint Simon between 1683 and 1734. It was displaced to avenue de Sceaux and later avenue de Paris.
Finally, you have the race horse tracks . At the time where Auteuil, Longchamp,and Vincennes were not in existance there was a racetrack at Satory under King Louis-Philippe in 1836. The events wre grouped with one company and the racecourse of Porchefontaine was opened in 1864. It occupied the today's streets of rue Jean de La Fontaine and rue Albert sarraut. It was considered one of the prettiest in France! but it stopped with the war of 1870.
Voilà ma Versailles, la ville royale et magnifique que tous viendrons à l'adoré comme moi.
Written Apr 1, 2013
living here for almost 10 years, photos are far and between in comparison and just VT had made me realise it; so catch up time for here and elsewhere as photos are nice. I like to tell you a narrative as some of the nice things we have in my town, yes,and maybe increase your curiosity away from castle and take more photos ::)
The city had an architecture of different proportion as the calciium stone and bricks were none existant , therefore, the construction was done with a mixture of plaster, and chalk in ocre red to imitate the brick and mix in with ocre yellow to imitate the stone. The faux windows are also a unique architectural item here. you can see them at 22 rue de Satory still authentic.
The balcons in metal,and window door guards are seen all over, the best examples are at 13 and 15 rue Saint Honoré, 5 rue de Satory, 36 rue du vieux Versailles or at the 52 rue de la Paroisse. There can be courve or bend like at 22 rue de Satory, or 30 rue des Etats Generaux,and 9 rue Royale, or 18 rue Hoche. You have mentions on the grills around the doors or windows such as mentions of "terraser les géants" such as 108 rue de la Paroisse from 1783, or the number of the convention of the member Laurent Lecointre at 63bis ave Saint Cloud.
These metal protectors of doors or windows or in French garde-corps in a more economical construction that is less intricate metal decorations are seen at No 17,34,36,38 rue Carnot, 32 and 110 rue de la Paroisse, and no 71 blvd de la Reine. Art Nouveau style or Nouille are found at 3 rue Neuve Notre Dame near the church.
The sculpture in stone rocaille are found at 10 rue de Fontenay circa 1730-40, and ornate silhoutte above the door such as at 14 rue du vieux Versailles. Orders from Jupiter at 6 avenue de Paris from 1737 at the hôtel de la gendarmerie de la garde. How about the canons of Napoleon at 2bis avenue de Paris at the Hôtel Pullmann next to tourist office!
About more initials of the presume musicisian of the king Louis XV or EF at 11 rue de la Paroisse. Thought to be that of Edouard Frémy. Shellfish are found at 13 rue Richaud of a lobster no less dating from the 20C. You have grilles with enamel and faiences such as 3 rue de l'assamblée Nationale the building is off ave de Paris and has incription "Les Houblons". You have faience at 1 impasse Adéle off 36 rue des Chantiers. At 3 rue richaud, you see the "Goutte de Lait" or taste of milk when it was rationed and hard to find in Versailles back in 1899 to fight malnutrition.
The magnificent door decorations of Grand Commun (b. 1684 still in renovation to open public soon) at 1 rue de l'independance Americaine. At No 5 rue Royale you see the deco at the military caserne of Caserne de Croy done in 1734! the one at the hôtel de la guerre or war ministry in 3 rue de l'independance Americaine done in 1759! the one at the convent of the Recollets done in 1684, two angels that adore Christ on the cross, destroyed in the French revolution. And at 19 avenue de Paris,the hotel de madame de Barry with two centurians horses, and the portrait on door of king Louis XIV at angle of rue du peintre lebrun and rue colbert (near chateau) .
The beautiful old houses with unique pente roofs at the Carré Saint Louis around streets, Marché neuf, l'Occident, Saint-Famille and l'Orient. Rare empire architecture at 6 rue d'Anjou built in 1811; pilastres of doric designs very nice. At 1 rue Neuve-notre Dame, le inscription of ' le guet du roy' built in 1736, the garde corps built after the renovation that eliminated the lake or etang de clagny and now has the streets boulevard de la Reine.
At the level of 111 avenue de Paris, you have a wonderful mansion that has a private road inside the parc Chauchard; the building(b. 1780) is known as " the pavillon de musique de la Comtesse de Provence' the sister in law of the king Louis XVI. The park was cut in half at the French revolution but the countess survive the guillotine. Now one part if of the famous school of Saint GEneviéve and the other half of belong to jewerler Mellerin then Prince de Mérode and finally by Alfred Chauchard (the founder of the Grands Magasins du Louvre).
The moulins or windmills of Versailles were at 18 rue des Chantiers, then the train station was done in 1849,and now it is still in use next to the train station by the family Chaudé from 1920. At 88 avenue des Etats Unis, done by Dutch architects from a diamont house built in 1920 and now since 1956 the school Lycée pro Jacques Prévert.
There are many niches of figurines and saints in Versailles, such as 2 rue Ducis by the market and 18:19 rue Saint Honoré as well as 30 rue de l'Ermitage as well as on the facade of church St Symphorien, pl st Symphorien by rue Montreuil. The narrowest street in Versailles is at 9 rue Saint Honoré 2,92 meters wide.(about 9,6 feet) built early on the 18C. Historical facade of figures of dogs, garde-corps, masks, etc is at 25 rue Saint Honoré. At 10 rue Royale you have a plaster figurine with the inscription 'Au cherche midy" maybe the mark of a jewerler.... At 19 rue Ducis another one saying "a la gaité' now at the museuim Lambinet. And the popular by the market notre dame, at 8 rue André Chénier, 'au chien qui fume' with colorful dogs all smoking pipes etc....
The black leyend of king Louis XV meeting his comcubines at 80 rue d'anjou, where it was the hunting grounds of Louis XIII,and Louis XIV, he buys a house at rue Saint Médéric, with an old door at corner of rue de l'occident and rue du marché neuf. Never really open by anyone that after the king sold the house in 1771.
So much more, working on it;, stay tune, Versailles is a lot more than a castle ::)
Written Mar 31, 2013
this is a nice house still undergoing renovation and garden work but open. It was the house where the musiciens king Louis XVI brought from Italy to entertain his court.
The Maison des musiciens italiens is a house in the style rocaille,built in 1752 at 15 rue Champ-Lagarde by Jacques Hardouin-Mansart (1711-1778), for the countess of Argenson. It house five italien singers that came to Versailles to entertain the king and play at the royal Chapel in the castle, thereby the name. House of the italiens musiciens.
The house passes with several owners, until finally acquired by the city of Versailles in December 1978. After a couple of more changes the house becomes in may 1986 the home of the Union Compagnonnique des Compagnons du Tour de France . Their webpage is here
a group that helps by working to bring about the best in men and preserve the buildings and architecture of our times.
Written Mar 24, 2013
ok so who is madame Elizabeth, well none other than the sister of king Louis XVI. She was a society women of great spirit who had done several parties in her house, unforntunately she defended her brother not allowing anyone to call him a despot as for her he was a good man, and for that she was guillotine as well at the age of 30.
The house was a gift of her bro in 1783,the property the Domaine de Montreuil. 73 avenue de Paris.
the house is seen by appointment of the city of Versailles, the park is free to go in from March 21 to November 15 everyday from 11h to 18h30. It is up the castle at 73 avenue de Paris, on your left hand side, easy walk in Versailles.
a bit more of her, complete name Élisabeth Philippine Marie Hélène de France, known as Madame Élisabeth,born May 3 1764 in Versailles,and died by guillotine May 10 1794 in Paris. She was the sister of kings Louis XVI, Louix XVIII, and Charles X.
She was a tough woman who believe not to yield at all to the commoners and the assembly refusing to immigrat'e to the papal states as many did in 1791. When the prosecutor reading her case told her she was the sister of a tyrant, she responded « IF my brother was that which you said, you will not be there standing now nor would I here !>
Her body in pieces was put in common wells in the cimentary of Errancis. After the revolution, the remains could not be identified even if the witness of the well digger that had localised the well. The remains of the well were place in the Catacombes of Paris as were many others. A medallion rang her place at the basilica de Saint Denis.
Written Mar 24, 2013
located at 22 Avenue de Paris just steps from the castle and near the rive gauche train station. THe building was done between 1741-1748, it house stores of accessories of toys and shows for the court in the castle.
In its courtyard an architecture design was done to house the nobles and commoners of the Estates Generals in 1789 precursor of the French National assembly and constitution. It was here that the deputies created the assamblée Nationale of France voting to abolish the privilidges of the nobles and the Declaration of the rights of man and citizens. Today the building houses the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles or the baroque music center of Versailles.
Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles organises each year a season of musical plays in the most prestigious places of Versailles such as the Royal Chapel, Royal Opera, academie du Spectacle Equestre (grande ecurie) etc.
Updated Mar 24, 2013
well this is the other building across from the castle on the right, less known then the grande ecurie where bartabas does his horse show.
the petite ecuries is pure art, here is where they fix,renovate and just take care of everything in the castle and elsewhere. Ecole National d'Architecture de Versailles, or the national architecture school of Versailles. House here since 1969.
therefore the interiors are not open to the public, only with special permission or helping out when I lived in the city you go in.
a bit of history
The Petite Ecurie was directed b the first ecuyer or squire. It service to house the horses of the carriages and work labor as well as the carriages of the king and dauphin or son. Even thus it is call the petite or little one its actually the same size as its neighbor the Grande Ecurie. It has wonderful architecture such as Alexander the great in Bucephale by Girardon handling a carriage of 3 horses . THe first squire was housed hiere as well as the helping hands, workmen on carriages and other folks involved in the upkeep of them.
It has a plaque (see photo) of the first graduates of the school of air force of France in 1937;
Written Mar 24, 2013
This is it ,it is the depository of all the great perfums that emblem the woman of Versailles and no more personified than on marie antoinette herself.
A unique conservatory of 1800 perfums including 400 already extinct.
you have the royal perfum from the 1C, eau de cologne of Napoleon at Ste Héléne, Fougére Royale d(Houbigant (1884), the perfums of Rosine, Coty,Lubin,Piver,Weil,and Patou amongst others.
Many perfums houses give their scents to be kept here for eternity :!!!!and all is very well conserved in refrigeratted rooms. They have films and presentation onthe art of smells; these last about 2h30 hours and are held on wednesdays afternoons and some saturdays. you need to call and make reservations, the children have their own on wednesdays mornings.
contact tel +33 (0) 1 39 55 46 99 fax +33 (0) 1 39 55 73 64 or email
location is at 36 rue du parc de clagny, you can go on foot from chateau take left on ave de saint cloud, to rue de provence left straight it changes name to rue du parc de clagny, the osmotheque is on your right hand side.takes about 40 minutes on foot. Bu bus you can go to rue de satory off ave Sceaux from the castle and take bus P to gare Chantiers, then bus R to côte de picardie stop, then bus U to parc de clagny about 40 mins too.
Updated Mar 24, 2013
the vegetable fruit garden of the king, now you can buy on wednesdays ::)
it is at 10 Rue du Maréchal Joffre
if you now like gardening ,veggies, fruits, history of it, and the relation to the castle museum of Versailles then you must be here. I was ;;;;!
The Potager du Roi was created between 1678 and 1683 by Jean-Baptiste La Quintinie, upon demand by king Louis XIV. It now houses the École nationale supérieure de paysage= the national superior school of landscaping.
It is open from april to october tuesdays to sundays from 10h to 18H
you have guided tours beginning at 11H 14h30 n 16h the weekends, holidays
admission is 4,50€ on weekends and holidays is 6,50€
The boutique library is open april to october tuesdays to sundays from 10h to 18h, november and december tuesdays and thursdays from 10h to 18h,Saturdays from 10h to 13h
January to march tuesdays and thursdays from 10h to 13H all about gardening with beautiful books
you can get here straight from the RER C train from Paris by going out left on train station to right at Rue du Général Leclerc to left at Rue du maréchal Foch; potager on your right hand side. on foot is about 10 minutes.
Updated Mar 24, 2013
to host events, such as birthdays, business meeting, congresses, etc and ride the segway bike tour, and seminars, etc, as well as wine tours, and many other goodies this place at 1 rue de la Paroisse will set you and no need to ask,they will do all for you.
for the popular segway they have a separate link in English at
Written Mar 24, 2013
yes walk Versailles its easy and plenty of history around it, from being the signature of France support to the American Independance, to the family such as sister Elizabeth of king louis XVI house, to the countess of Provence, to a wonderful library, to the preserve of all perfumes of Marie Antoinette and more at the Osmothéque
There is a lot more than just a castle even if the best in the world ::)
webpage below is city of Versailles mayors office or hotel de ville,and the photo is going home in Versailles....where I lived for almost 10 years.grand maisons.
Updated Mar 24, 2013
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