Hi friends, welcome back to my Paris and London Anniversary series 🙂 Today is the final installment of our favorite day exploring Versailles. After touring the palace and gardens, we walked through The Park to get to the Trianon Palaces and Domaine de Marie Antoinette. You need additional tickets to visit these “summer homes”, and it takes about a half hour walk to get here from the Palace of Versailles. You can also rent a golf cart and drive over, or take the Petit Train for eight euros. Jon and I decided to take the more scenic route and walked.
As if the palace and gardens weren’t enough, the royals needed a summer home to escape all the busy commotion of royal life. We started at the Petit Trianon, built by Louis XV for his mistress Madame de Pompadour. After Louis XVI took the throne, it was given to Marie-Antoinette as her place to escape to.
I loved this grand entrance! As you can tell this summer home isn’t as grand as the palace, but it’s still pretty extravagant.
We then headed outside and saw the Temple of Love overlooking the expansive garden.
Heading back towards the Grand Trianon Palace, we walked through the gardens and the French Pavilion where Marie Antoinette hung out with her friends. We couldn’t go inside, but it was pretty to look at. While the interior design of theses palaces is obviously not my taste, I do appreciate the beautiful gardens all throughout Versailles.
Versailles had started out as a summer escape from Paris, but had become as busy as the city, so Louis XIV had the Grand Trianon Palace built in 1670 as his summer home. It’s said he spent about two nights a week here.
The colonnade was my favorite part, it looked so pretty! In 1810 Napoleon had the colonnade enclosed with windows to make the passage from his wing to his Empress’ wing more comfortable, but they were removed in 1910.
Louis XIV slept here with his mistress while his wife lived in the palace. It looks like he was a fan of blackout curtains.
This room was Napoleon’s living room and featured a malachite green basin given to him by Czar Alexander I.
Napoleon Bonaparte lived here from 1810-1814, and then the Grand Trianon had multiple tenants so the furnishings are from different owners and time periods.
Somehow we missed seeing the Queen’s Hamlet, the cottages Marie-Antoinette had made to simulate what rural life would be like. No wonder there was a revolution… This picture below is from the Versailles website.
After walking over 23,000 steps, Jon and I enjoyed finally sitting down for an hour on the train ride back to Paris. We definitely worked up an appetite and finished this day with some yummy pizza and flatbread at Forno Gusto in Saint Germaine. We tended to wing dinner in Paris which I wouldn’t totally recommend, but I spent so much time planning the itinerary that I didn’t have much capacity left for meal planning. Next time we go to Paris we’ll focus more on the food 🙂
I hope these posts have convinced you to visit Versailles! It’s truly a sight to behold and absolutely worth carving out a whole day for. Stay tuned for day three at the Louvre coming up next 🙂