The Hameau of Marie Antoinette is nice, secluded simple, country, and spent many many times walking around it, just looking at its history. The history very much better explained is here officially http://en.chateauversailles.fr/marie-antoinettes-estate
I will tell you about the Balcon de la Reine or the balcony of the Queen, this is where she play, big windows, open into the country, still has the same feel. She put in here her friend, princess de Lamballe to throw away the Countess of Noailles, who she dislike as been too strict. The Queen ask that nobody gets up when she entered a room,as she did not want to be reminder of her rang, she wanted to be comun, simple. There was the heating element in the house to keep the temperarature when in 1783 she ask to do the Hameau, the heating elements was demanded.
Outside we have long alleys aligned with fruit trees, grapeyards ,and fields grown with wheat, orge,petit pois, etc, a bit far it was a farm done in 1785, just by the ave de Versailles far from the main compound of the Hameau, best to do all this entering by the Porte Saint Antoine.
You have the milk barn or Laiterie , where we tasted the dairy products, the Queen was served in porcelain vases from the factory of the rue Thiroux in Paris. Even while imprisonement in the Tuileries in 1789 she still continues to received the butter from the farm. Here the majority of decorative elements are from the 19C , the original done by Le Prince in 1786 has disappeared. The dairy farm was recontruct in 1811.
You get to see the wonderful Tour de la Pêcherie or known as Tour Marlborough built in 1783, around small lakes of carps where the fishing gears of the royal family were kept. The likes to sing a song by Beaumarchais, inventing a reference to duke de Marlborough or John Churchill wounded in the battle of Malplaquet in 1709, in the war of succession of Spain.
You reach the romantic temple de l’Amour, in the middle of an English garden, having a pressure water cave. This is where she took refuge and tranquility perhaps to mourn the death of two of her four children, Sophie Béatrice in 1787 at age 11, and the dauphin Louis Joseph in 1789 at the age of 7 due to tuberculosis.
The Hameau and Versailles, Versailles and Marie Antoinette, Versailles royal town of France. Cheers
The Kingdom of Marie Antoinette occupies only a small part of the area covered by the gardens of Versailles , in the far right corner.
open daily except on public holidays and days with official ceremonies as it follows:
4 july - 31 oct 2006 - from 12 to 19:30 / access of external areas until 18h
1 nov 2006 - 31 march 2007
Le petit Triandon is closed for restauration.The gardens of le petit Triandon are open for walks.
Le Grand Triandon is open except on public holidays and days with official ceremonies asit follows :
4 july - 31 oct 2006 - from 12 to 18:30 / last entry 17:45
1 nov 2006 - 31 march 2007 - from 12 to 17:30 / last entry 17:00
4 july - 31 oct 2006 - age 18 and above - 9 euro,under 18 - free of charge , from 16h - 5 euro ,
1 nov 2006 - 31 march 2007- age 18 and above - 5 euro,under 18 - free of charge
Yearly abonnment - 20euro
High season : visit of The Grand Triandon , Petit Triandon , The Chapel , The French Pavillion , Queen's Theater , Belvedere , Temple of Love , The Cave , the English Gardens , The milk farm , Queen's Hamlet.
Low season - Visit of the Big/ Grand Triandon , and walk though the gardens of the small / Petit Triiandon
Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI, spent much of her time away from the opulence of the palace of Versailles at her estate located on the vast grounds of the palace. Without the modern convenience of a tram or comfortable walking shoes, it must have seemed a world away from the excess and gluttony at court. She had the 12 buildings of the Hamlet constructed so that she could experience the simple life of a peasant albeit surely without the discomfort that accompanied actually being a peasant in the times of Louis XVI.
The Hamlet had a working dairy and water mill, there were gardens, livestock and a dovecote and while she didn't participate in the manual labor, she would come and supervise, dressed modestly of course.
The main building is the Queen's House, furnished in a very unpeasant like manner with a billard room, dining hall, library and two living rooms. The interiors of the buildings in the Hamlet are not open to the public but you can have a stroll around the grounds which made me feel like I had been plopped right into a fairy tale.
The Fisher's Tower called aswell Marlborough tower was used as starting point for canoe trips or fishing parties . Built by Richard Mique in 1783.
It's a great subject to take lots of photos from all the possible angles....
After visiting the Farm , next stop is : "Le Hameau De Marie-Antoinette"/ Queen's Hamlet - a farytale little village , bringing alive "the Shrine" from "Lord of the Rings".
Spread around a pond with swans and ducks at the top right corner of the Versailles castle.
Built by Richard Mique between 1784 and 1788 ,the farm is an absolutely lovely place . It looks like the witch's house on two chicken feet from the tale.
Located aside ftom the Queen's hamlet ,she was home of numerous animals: eight cows and a bull ,ten goats and pigeons . The farmers were charged of providing the queen with milk and eggs.
Today the farm is opreated by the fondation "Assistance of the animals"
There are still plenty of goats aswell as these cute mini goats to see in the farm ,and especially this wonder of Mother nature with the 4 horns . you can see aswell a horse ,a feasan, chickens and pigeons. All of them live in happy harmony , matching the pastoral feeeling of the place.
The landscaping changed two acres of land totally and needless to say it cost a bomb. Hmm, clearly, Marie Antoinette was living in her own world while she was re-decorating her garden. If only she could see the suffering of her people..
Needless to say, the folks of France weren't too amused with the pastoral Disneyland. While the commoners stood in bread lines praying for food, they cursed the Queen who was living so comfortably in her grand palace. The Queen further incurred more wrath when she destroyed a large green-house [the most costly and scholarly in Europe] in order to create her landscape garden. In the place of the greenhouse was a Chinese tilting ring, a Temple of Love, a Rock Pavilion, a theatre, tall mountains, a large rock, and a stream....
This is what Le hameau looks like today. To fulfill all of Marie-Antoinette's luxuriant pastoral fantasies, the hameau included a:
3)Warming Room (for the dining room),
6)Dairy for enjoying diary products, cooled by a stream that runs through it.
7)Marlborough Tower (Fishery Tower)
8)Farm complete with a farming couple from the Touraine region, along with their two children!
Now, do you know why I call it a pastoral disneyland? To top it all off, the queen role-played here as a shepherdess with her fluffy sheep. Now, that's why I call pure escapism.
Since the Petit Trianon was completed too late for Mdm Pompadour to enjoy , it became another woman's refuge from the formal court life of Versailles. Yup, if you would have guessed, it went into the hands of Marie-Antoinette in 1774 as a grand coronation present from her hubby, Louis XVI.
She loved it so much that she comissioned a beautiful pastoral garden to be built a quarter mile northeast of the Petit-Trianon.
And a rustic Disneyland of sorts was built, the LE HAMEAU DE LA REINE ...
There was no other way to explore the Hameau than to walk the dirt paths. There are various areas, the grotto, the Temple of Love, the farm and the village. Give yourself time to enjoy them all.
This was a nice contrast to the oppulence of the Chateau. It was easy enough to believe that Marie could ignore all else while wandering the area.
-Comtesse du Barry - Mistress of Louis XV
-Marie Antoinette - Queen of France (1755-1793)
-Madame Victoire - Daughter of Louis XV (1733-1799)
-Madame Adélaide - 4th daughter of Louis XV