The comparison between the relatively modest room of the queen at the Petit Trianon and the royal apartments of the Palace of Versailles is striking. The small dimensions of the bed of the queen in her room at the Petit Trianon show well that here she lived as a single woman away off her royal husband.
It is known that Marie-Antoinette in her married life had known a humiliating experience. Louis XVI had been unable during 7 years to consummate the marriage. This was known in France as well from the royal courts of Europe.
The room is entirely authentic, the furniture of origin was found, repurchased and restored. It is refined furniture signed Georges Jacob. The clock of the Queen decorated with the two eagles of the house of Austria is back on its site.
Contiguous to this room is the cabinet “of the moving mirrors” who by means of a system of sliding slopes allowed the queen to shut her windows when she wanted to isolate herself.
La chambre de la reine.
La comparaison entre la chambre relativement modeste de la reine Marie-Antoinette au Petit Trianon et les appartements royaux du Palais de Versailles est frappante. Les petites dimensions du lit de la reine dans se chambre au Petit Trianon montrent bien qu'ici elle vivait en célibataire à l'écart de son royal époux.
Il faut savoir que Marie-Antoinette avait dans sa vie conjugale connu une expérience humiliante car connue de toutes les cours d'Europe. Louis XVI avait été incapable pendant 7 ans de consommer le mariage.
La chambre est entièrement authentique, le mobilier d'origine a été retrouvé, racheté et remis à neuf. C'est un mobilier raffiné signé Georges Jacob. La pendule de la Reine décoré des deux aigles de la maison d'Autriche a retrouvé son emplacement.
Attenant à cette chambre se trouve le cabinet “des glaces mouvantes” qui au moyen d'un système de rampes coulissantes permettait à la souveraine d’obturer ses fenêtres quand elle voulait s’isoler.
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 anything 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.
En soi cette petite grotte artificielle située entre le Belvédère et l'Orangerie (N° 9 sur la carte touristique du "Domaine de Marie-Antoinette") n'a aujourd'hui rien de charmant mais la Reine aimait s'y réfugier à proximité de l'étang que surplombe le Belvédère.
C'est-ce qu'elle faisait en cet après-midi du 5 octobre 1789 lorsqu'un page lui apporta un message lui annonçant que la populace parisienne, composée surtout de femmes et quelques hommes révolutionnaires déguisés en femmes, marchait sur Versailles et qu'on la demandait au château. Le Roi Louis XVI avait entre temps été retrouvé en forêt où il chassait comme d'habitude.
On leur conseilla de fuir Versailles mais le Roi, comme toujours, hésitait.
C'était la dernière journée à Versailles de Louis XVI et Marie-Antoinette. Le début de leur fin tragique.
One of the nicest part of the castle and our favorite , we used to do jogging around it, and had lunch at thez outdoor angelina cafe on the terrrase coming in by car thru the porte saint antoine. A must when in the castle, this is a bit of history
There was a door at the end of the alley Saint-Antoine, which opened on the village of Saint-Antoine-du-Buisson. During one of his visits of the construction of the hamlet, King Louis XVI found it was missing something at the table. He decided to raise an arc de triomphe which he designed himself . The monument was built in July 1786 _ June 1787. It is adorned with the key and on two sides with a draft of the Nemean lion which was killed by Hercules. This sculpture by Joseph Deschamps is the emblem of the force and is represented in other areas of the field, symbolically marking the entrance in a universe tamed by the Kings. My favorite entry point to the castle/museum/park. I used to wondered all over help out with work, and had my kids grew up in the garden just behind the building.
One of the nice architectural things here is the Salon Circulaire or circular room decorated with objects of fishing,hunting,and gardening. It was the favorite room of Louis XV coming here to rest on his daily routine. It was completed in 1750 base on the country house of Madame de Pompadour, set up so folks can play on the allée de la Fontaine with ducks.
You move outside to the Jardin des Quatre Saisons, done as a French garden between 1750-1752. Trace as a cross the building showcase on each corner a season of the year. You notice the road or alley taking you from the Grand Trianon to the Petit Trianon, ,allée des Evergreen that divides the garden of Louis XIV to that of Louis XV.
You will see around here the Maison de Richard or also known as the Pavillon de Jussieu. It was the house of the gardener Claude Richard and his son Antoine,when the father comes here in 1754 on the wishes of Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour. Thanks to the grains of plants sent by Duke de Noailles, from many corners of the world, the botanical richness of the place were the most extraordinary collection of botanical work in Europe; more than 4000 exotic varieties florish here. Here for the first time we saw pineapples grow in France! Marie Antoinette saves this treasure and asked Richard to transfer the plants to the Kings garden in Paris (the actual jardin des plantes). The Richards stayed close to the Queen, and Claude Richard past away in 1784 at the Petit Trianon, and Antoine lives past the Revolution and help save the gardens of Versailles from the auction block. A true hero ,and one my son is studying this profession.
You come to see the great dining room or Grande Salle à manger, here was a tasting room for fruits and vegetables of Louis XV! You see mythical figures such as Borée and Orythie, Flore, and Zéphyr.In 1770 Louis XV asked to do three flying tables that will come up in the center of the room all ready for a setting using hydraulic systems and pulleys. Marie Antoinette did not like this so she discontinued its use.
The Petit Trianon was covered with beautiful tapestries in its furniture, the furniture in Marie Antoinette room. In 1774 Louis XVI give this bedroom of the Queen full of flowery insignias, call the Chambre de la Reine mobilier aux épis. Perfumes and tapestries adorn this wonderful room, and still is nicely decorated, and a perfum born at the Petit Trianon for her ,made from petals of flowers of orange, mix with lavander, bergamote and cedar are still seem at the museum of perfums in Versailles, Osmothéque. Next on the Boudoir de la Reine, was the room where Louis had his coffee,and Marie Antoinette did a room to read and see from there her English garden. It came with moving mirrors,rich woods, etc, the mechanism for the movable mirrors can still be seen today at ground floor. The rich woods last were done in 1787.
In 1738 Louis XV ordered done a marble figure all L’Amour,and put it in the center of the Salon d’Hercule in the castle, but in 1749 some of his daughters refuse to have the nudity in the castle and the king decides to put it in the Orangerie of the castle of Choisy. A copy done by Madame de Pompadour is done for her at the castle of Bellevue. Later, Marie Antoinette decides to take the original to the Louvre ,and ask for a new copy. To give value to the statue she decides to put it in the center of a cupola with a tholos of marbre with twelve corinthians columns in 1778. You still see today surrounded by a small stream. Marvel of the four Sphynx couples done in the park where Marie Antoinette like to listen to music ,there are by the Belvedere call Sphinges du Belvédére or Pavillon du Rocher.
We go over to the entrance to the Grotte de Marie Antoinette, or cave. On October 5 1789 she receives the letter telling her the Parisiens march towards Versailles. It is near the Belvédére, and it is an artificial cave . The idea for her to do this cave came from Jean-Jacques Rousseau writings in Les Révéries du promeneur solitaire(1776-1778).
Moving back inside the Petit Trianon, we see the nice Chambre de Madame Campan, or bedroom of mrs campan, 1st floor and on top of the bedroom of Marie Antoinette. Here is the rooms of the two most personal persons of her entourage.The lady of Honor, and the first lady of the bedroom. In 1786 Madame Campan replaces the previous lady of the bedroom, and became famous by her memoirs. She is the reading tacher of the daughters of Louis XV. By 1770 she was already the second woman in charge. During all this period she knows all the intimite moves of Marie Antoinette and thanks to her memoirs published in 1822 that the history now looks more gentle towards Marie Antoinette. Madame Campan was the founder of a girls school in St Germain en Laye iin 1794; She was in charge of the Imperial house of Ecouén for the daughters of the officers of the legion of honneur. She ended up very poor having her schools closed by Louis XVIII that never forgave her affinity towards the Napoleonic regimes.
At the entrance to the pergola in the jardin du Petit Trianon, you see a huge round lawn , he reminds us of the game of Chinese rings that Marie Antoinette ordered in 1776. It was a huge stable with an umbrella shape turning on a pivot. The first game took place on 1777, where the dames were dressed as merchants and the queen as beggar! The Queen made the list of invitees, and they came using a false name, this created an aura of wild parties which were not. In French you will find info on this under the Emplacement du jeu de bague chinois.
An adjacent building not far from the Petit Trianon , almost making it the same complex is the Théatre de la Reine, you see the two female figures that mark the entrance to the theater, they are Melpoméne, lady of singing, harmony and tragedy and Thalie, lady of comedy. It is here that the Queen invited the society high class to play with her. She played herself and many times in front of her domestic entourage! Her last role was in September 15, 1785 as Rosine in the play the Barber of Seville by Beaumarchais in the present of the author himself!. wonderful place indeed.
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 from the period and the decoration is 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 the 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.
J'avoue que c'est avec pas mal d'émotion que j'ai poussé ma tête dans l'entrée (on ne va pas plus loin) du théâtre de Marie-Antoinette. Ce bâtiment très simple situé à une centaine de mètres du palais du Petit Trianon cache une salle ovale qui était le théâtre privé de la Reine. Il fut construit en 1780 par l'architecte Richard Mique.
C'est un lieu charmant avec un décor en bois et carton-pâte dans des tons pastel très féminins. La scène est plus large que la salle.
C'est un théâtre intéressant du point de vue de la technique car la machinerie est d'époque et les décors sont originaux quoique restaurés. Près de l'entrée on peut voir une vidéo expliquant l'éclairage de ce théâtre au moyens de bougies, les fameux feux de la rampe.
C'est aussi un lieu émouvant qui révèle la personnalité de Marie-Antoinette toujours à la recherche de divertissements et qui aimait se produire sur scène.
Elle était très élégante mais il est dit qu'elle chantait mieux qu'elle ne jouait la comédie.
Ce lieu est aussi un exemple de l'étourderie, même plus, l'inconscience politique de Marie-Antoinette. En réservant les représentations à un public d'amis intimes elle suscita la jalousie parmi la noblesse qui n'était pas invitée. De plus elle joua, contre la volonté du Roi Louis XVI, le rôle de Rosine dans "Le Barbier de Séville" de Beaumarchais, une satire évidente de la noblesse alors que l'esprit de la révolution était déjà en marche en France.
Cela déplut fortement à sa mère l'impératrice d'Autriche Marie-Thérèse qui lui interdit d'encore monter sur scène. La reine continua néanmoins à entretenir sa troupe.
In the beginning the castle of the Petit Trianon was built (1768) for the marquise de Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV. But she died before the end of the works and was replaced by, Madame Du Barry, who succeeded as favourite until the death of the king Louis XV in 1774. The castle was built in a Neo-Greek style by the architect Angel-Jacques Gabriel; it is a masterpiece which breaks with the rococo style.
However today the Petit Trianon is closely associated with the person of queen Marie-Antoinette. She received the property from her husband king Louis XVI.
She made it her intimate refuge far from the protocol and the pageantry of the court of Versailles. She had the Petit Trianon refurnished, redecorated and she refitted the gardens. The whole at a high cost.
Only her friends were invited. The excluded and jealous French nobility took umbrage at the Petit Trianon and called it “Small Vienna”. Marie-Antoinette did not realize that her retirement and the committed expenses were going to crystallize all criticisms against her palace. While isolating herself from the French nobility the Queen would find herself without her natural supports when the revolution burst out.
On the first floor the Living room called "Salon de Compagnie", decorated with splendid woodworks carved by Guibert, is one of the most beautiful rooms of the castle. The pieces of furniture are contemporary of Marie-Antoinette.
A l'origine le Petit Trianon a été construit (1768) pour la marquise de Pompadour, maîtresse de Louis XV. Mais celle-ci décède avant la fin des travaux et c'est sa remplaçante, Madame Du Barry, qui lui succède, jusqu'à la mort du roi Louis XV en 1774.
Le château est construit dans un nouveau style "à la grecque" par l'architecte Anges-Jacques Gabriel; c'est un chef d'œuvre qui rompt avec le style rocaille.
Pourtant aujourd'hui le château du Petit Trianon est intimement associé à la personne de la reine Marie-Antoinette. Le domaine lui fut offert par son époux le roi Louis XVI.
Elle en fit son refuge intime loin du protocole et de l'apparat et de l'étiquette de la cour de Versailles. Elle fait remeubler, décorer, réaménager les jardins. Le tout à grands frais.
Seul ses amis sont invités. La noblesse française exclue et jalouse prend ombrage du Petit Trianon qu'elle surnomme la "Petite Vienne". Marie-Antoinette ne se rendit pas compte que sa retraite au Petit Trianon, les frais engagés allaient cristalliser toutes les critiques contre elle. En s'isolant de la noblesse française la Reine se retrouverait sans ses appuis naturels lorsque éclata la révolution.
Au premier étage le Salon de Compagnie ornée de magnifiques boiseries sculptées par Guibert est l'une des plus belles pièces du château. Les meubles sont contemporains de Marie-Antoinette.
Le Petit Trianon, after restoration works, is again open for interior visits since 22/07/2008. (I was lucky to arrive just on the first day of opening).
The restoration was made with the aim to restore the palace as it was on the day of the departure of Marie-Antoinette on October 5th, 1789.
The curators wanted to give the impression that the queen has just left, that the house is still impregnated of her presence. They fully succeeded by emphasizing the intimate side.
Please note that like the other parts of the "Domaine de Marie-Antoinette" Grand Trianon, etc. the Petit Trianon is closed in the morning and opens only at 12 h till 18 h.
Le Petit Trianon, longtemps fermé en raison d'importants travaux de restauration est enfin ouvert. Le 17/07/2008 un ami français me signalait que le Petit Trianon était encore fermé; par chance le mardi 22/07 lors de ma visite il venait d'ouvrir. Les ouvriers retiraient leurs machines et matériaux et il y avait déjà foule de visiteurs.
La restauration a été faite dans l'idée de restituer l'endroit tel qu'il était le jour du départ de Marie-Antoinette le 5 octobre 1789. Les conservateurs ont voulu donner l'impression que la reine vient de partir, que la maison est encore imprégnée de sa présence. Ils y ont pleinement réussi en mettant en valeur le côté intimiste.
Comme les autres parties du Domaine de Marie-Antoinette ce palais n'ouvre qu'à partir de 12 h.
The Grand Trianon was built under the reign of Louis XIV, the three story neo-Classical Petit Trianon was completed in 1768 during the time of his son Louis XV so that he could spend more time near the French Gardens and house his favorite mistress, Madame du Barry. It's more closely associated with Marie Antoinette who received it as a gift from her husband Louis XVI, like the kings that preceded her she came to this part of Versailles to escape court life and enjoy more simple pleasures. Louis XVI dined here often but never slept there even though there was a bedroom for him.
Yes, well ... what to say about this ... Sacraficing a part of the botanical garden of Louis XV, Marie-Antoinette asked her architect Richard Mique and the painter Hubert Robert to create a more picturesque garden, in the English-style.
Being indside the building I read a lot of its history. I quote a sign:"As a child, Louis XV used to say, 'I do so like the Trianon'. He was referring, of course, to the Grand Trianon. In the 1750s, Madame de Pompadour brought him back to the spot. The king liked to stroll with her to the new menagerie, through the botanical gardens, and the greenhouses that the famous scientist Bernard de Jussieu had just installed. On returning from these promenades, the king would stop in the new pavilion built in the middle of the formal garden, where he would file his herbals or have a light refreshment of milk and strawberries, or sup in the cool salon. Starting in 1763, he succumbed to the arguments of Madame de Pompadour and her brother, Marigny, and ordered that a new chateau be built, the Petit Trianon. It was completed in 1768."
I found my way through the beautiful building, which was made into a museum dedicated to Marie-Antoinette in 1867. I ended up at the Queen's Theatre, one of the most beautiful and historical buildings in Europe. It reveals a little known side to the life of Marie-Antoinette. To perfect her French, Marie-Antoinette took comedy classes, and she acted while still in Vienna with her family, from this came her taste for the theatre.
This creation of Marie-Antoinette's Estate is part of the Grand Versailles project that aims most notably to show Versailles'contrasts: Classical and Baroque, destitution and extravagance, male inspiration from Louis XIV and female inspiration from Marie-Antoinette to Madame Pompadour, to name just a few. The Petit Trianon and its gardens are inseparably linked from Marie-Antoinette: she was the only queen who imposed her personal tastes on Versailles, scoffing at Court traditions. In the Trianon estate, which Louis XVI gave to her in 1774, she found a haven of privacy that allowed her to escape from the rigours of Court Etiquette. No one could enter without her personal invitation.
I vistited the Petit Trianon just after I had an intensive look at the Grand Trianon. Did I feel myself lonely at the Grand Trianon ... right at the Petit Trianon it became even worse. No one in sight, no where to be seen! Where were all those bus loads of tourists? At least not right here. The Petit Trianon marks the start of the Neo-Classical style. The ground floor is organised around a central vestibule and a staircase of honour. The first floor comprises: an antechamber, a large dining room, a small ding room, a living room, a boudoir of Cabinet and the Queen's Room.
This "small" Royal building was built in the 1760's for Madam de Pompadour, the mistress of Louis XV but was later used by Marie Antionette as an escape from the formality of court. You can look round for around 5Euros with a combined ticket for both Trianons or with a "passport" ticket.
My friend had a look round but I didn't as I was more interested in the guy outside selling freshly squeezed iced orange juice to ease my dehydtration! Yum, well worth stopping there as that seems to be the only refreshments available in that part of the park.
Louis XV equally avid about scientific botany and biology as his grandfather (Louis XIV) pursued it in a grand and intense manner. He create an "experimental farm " (a sort of menagerie) and vast plantings staffed by"professional" scientists who created a botanical school along with their studies. In 1768, he had Gabriel design and build this chateau which remains as it was originally. While here, he came down with a fatal case of smallpox. Marie Antoinette received the area as a gift. She replaced the scientific endeavors with her ideas of fun including building the Belvedere (a Music Salon), a theater, the Temple of Love (visible from her bedroom (1778) and of course the Hameau.
Louis XV built this so he could spend more time near the French gardens.
Quite obviously the Summer house was much too cramped for his tastes.
Marie-Antoinette made this her home after her marriage to Louis XVI.
Much easier to imagine her simple childhood here than in the Palace.
Now, since there is a lovely Grand Trianon, why was there a need to build another mini palace in Versailles? Well, it seemed it was built to appease the nagging of a royal mistress! Ah, the power of a beautiful woman...Yup, Louis XV built the Petit Trianon to appease his déesse de l'amour, Madame de Pompadour in 1763. Unfortunately for Mdm Pampadour, the petit trianon was only completed in 1768, too late for her to enjoy it.
EUR5 (joint ticket with Petit Trianon).
Here's the picture of Madame de Pompadour, the love goddess and the most famous and influential mistress of Louis XV. Other than inspiring the building of the Petit Trianon, she entertained the King by organizing suppers, festivities, and shows in the Grand Trianon, commissioned paintings by famous French artists (e.g.La Tour ) and formed friendships with many of the philosophers and writers of the period, including Voltaire. Wow....in another words, she was the de-facto Minister of Culture. Hmm, what a woman!