Saturday, December 12, 2015

Versailles part 3 - the big little house

The Grand Trianon.
Trianon was a little hamlet on the outskirts of Versailles which was purchased by Louis XIV in 1668.  He then commissioned the architect Louis Le Vau to design a porcelain pavilion (Trianon de porcelaine).
The facade was made of white and blue Delft-style "porcelain" (ceramic) tiles from the French manufactures of Rouen, Lisieux, Nevers and Saint-Cloud. Construction began in 1670 and was finished in 1672.
However by 1687 the delicate tile deteriorated so badly that the King ordered the pavilion be demolished and a stronger one built.  This time in marble.

The Grand Trianon would often play host to Louis XIV and his (some say secret) wife, Madame de Maintenon, and was later used by his son and grandson, Louis XV and their familys, as well as hosting such people as Peter the Great during royal slumber parties (you can imagine the pillow fights).

Marie Antoinette held a few theatrical performances in the Galerie des Cotelle (below), a beautiful gallery with paintings, though she preferred the Petit Trianon to get away from court life and the baroque paparazzi. 

After the French Revolution it became a tad neglected until Napoleon decided to make it his residence (well, one of them anyway), had it decorated in the empire style, and lived there with his second wife Marie Louise of Austria.

In 1963 Charles de Gaulle ordered the building to be renovated, and today, as well as being a nice attraction for tourists who missed out on seeing the main Chateau, it is used as a Presidential residence to host foreign officials.

It is quite something to behold.  Because we didn't get to see the Chateau, we could only imagine the opulence of it if this luxurious "smaller" residence was anything to compare it to.

I was tempted to linger but there was another special place I wanted to find..............

To be continued......

Le Grand Trianon, Versailles, France - June 2015


  1. Spectacular, gorgeous shots! I see this place regularly through Ciel's blog, so it's interesting seeing it from someone else's point of view.

    1. Thank you. Could you send me the link to Ciel's blog? I'd love to take a look.

  2. Oooohh, I've been enjoying these Versailles tour posts so much. Words really do feel like they come up short sometimes in describing just how opulently grand and gorgeous this French masterpiece is. I would love to follow in your footsteps and visit it in person one day, too (swoon!).

    Big hugs & joyful holiday season wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thank you I'm glad you're enjoying the tour :) I hope that one day you will indeed follow in my footsteps and add some of your own for the main chateau and give me a tour lol.

  3. Replies
    1. Sure is. I realised afterwards that to get a proper feel for the place would take days.

  4. Just fabulous. I've been looking back at your other posts on this - did you ever get to the hall of mirrors? We've talked about going and I'm looking into it... But I also wanted to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, thank you for the great posts and for popping across to A Bit About Britain as you do.

    1. No we never got there, but we did see some great stuff. If you go you must do a post about it so I can see what I missed :)
      Merry Christmas to you to. It's always a pleasure popping over to your blog and I look forward to reading more of your posts in 2016.


Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I do appreciate each and every one and will do my best to reply. I do apologise for the comment moderation I've been forced to put into place thanks to Mr Dark's spamming. It was not so much the spamming that bothered me - it was his appalling grammar.