24.9.08

Le Petit Trianon lives again!

Catherine Delors site Versailles and More has posted this article about Le Petit Trianon, gift to the martyred-queen Marie-Antoinette from her beloved husband Louis XVI.

Many things are happening in Versailles these days. The Jeff Koons show, and now the completion of the restoration of Le Petit Trianon.

Le Petit Trianon, like much of Versailles, has undergone a major restoration over the past decades, and today the final part of the project, the servants' quarters, is opening to the public.

The idea was to recreate the place as it existed on the 5th of October 1789, when the royal family was forced by a mob of starving women to leave Versailles, never to return, and resettle into the Palace of the Tuileries in Paris.

Le Petit Trianon was Marie-Antoinette's very private estate on the grounds of Versailles. The little chateau itself already existed (it had been built under the prior reign for King Louis XV's mistress, Madame de Pompadour.)

Marie-Antoinette redecorated the chateau, and added a jardin à l'anglaise, complete with a grotto, a fake hamlet and her own theater. She was seated inside the grotto when she was heard the news of the arrival of the mob on the 5th of October. I sat there too, trying to imagine her feelings on that day.

But my own favorite spot is the delightful, diminutive theater, done in blue, white and gold. Marie-Antoinette loved to set up plays, including Beaumarchais's Les Noces de Figaro, forbidden by the royal censure for its attacks on the regime. There too you can imagine her, standing on the stage, playing the part of the maid Rosine, Figaro's fiancée. Barely a year away from the Revolution...

All is now restored and waiting for your visit.


There are more scenes and articles and may be found at the following sites, here... here... and here in English, via Tea at Trianon.
Here...here...and here which features a view from google... in Spanish via Trianon de la Reina

Thank you all and a tip of the beret to Catherine Delors,

Dieu le Roy, Vive la Reine, Dieu sauve le Roy!
de Brantigny

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