The Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon and the Hamlet show the intimate side of Versailles. Marie-Antoinette loved to come here to find the pleasures of a simple, country lifestyle, far from the splendours of Versailles.
The Estate is opened from midday to 6.30pm during high season (April to October) and from midday to 5.30pm during low season (November to March). Gardens open until 7.30pm during high season and until 6pm during low season.
What is there to see at the Grand Trianon?
Built by Jules Hardouin Mansart during the reign of Louis XIV in 1687, the Grand Trianon is undoubtedly the most refined Palace at Versailles. Don't miss the Peristyle, the Apartment of Madame l'Impératrice and the Grand Apartment which notably includes the famous Cotelle Gallery. Then follow the Trianon gardens paths dedicated to flowers.
What is there to see at the Petit Trianon?
Madame de Pompadour, who wished to “relieve the king’s boredom”, was the instigator of this small palace built by Ange-Jacques Gabriel between 1763 and 1768, close to the botanical gardens and the new menagerie. To please the Marquise who was always at the height of fashion, the architect abandoned the "rocaille" style and adopted a cubist form with straight lines in accordance with the latest "Greek style" architectural trend. Only the garden level of the Petit Trianon is accessible to disabled visitors.
What is there to see at the Queen’s Hamlet?
Marie-Antoinette ordered her Hamlet to be built in 1783 to get away from the Court at Versailles. She came here often to enjoy the charms of peasant life, surrounded by her ladies-in-waiting. You can notably visit the Queen's House, the Billiard Room , the Boudoir, the Mill and the Dairy. Take advantage of this country setting to take a break from your visit.
The Grand Trianon
The Grand Trianon is located 25 minutes' walk to the north west of the Palace of Versailles, built on the grounds of a village acquired by the sovereign. Unique in its original style of architecture, it was the work of Jules Hardouin-Mansart and the King himself, as Louis XIV was greatly involved in its creation in 1687. At that time, Versailles had been overrun by crowds of courtesans. The Trianon was intended as a private retreat.
Open from midday to 6.30pm during high season (April to October) and from midday to 5.30pm during low season (November to March). Gardens open until 7.30pm during high season and until 6pm during low season.
Gardens of the Grand Trianon
The Grand Trianon was built on the orders of Louis in 1663, and is surrounded by parterres and fountains. The laying out of the gardens was the work of Michel Le Bouteux, who also set out a number of orange trees, protected from winter weather by an ingenious moveable greenhouse.
Flanked by two ramps, the Horseshoe Fountain faces the secondary axis of the Grand Canal and gave access to the Grand Trianon by boat.
Situated in the north west axis of the Grand Trianon, and decorated with dragons by Jean Hardy; here you can see the Grand Trianon's reflection.
Water Sideboard fountain
In 1703 Hardouin-Mansart had this fountain, also called the Cascade, built on the same axis as the Trianon-sous-Bois wing’s northern end. It was decorated with different coloured marbles ornamented with lead sculptures by Mazière, Le Lorrain, Hardy, Poirier and Van Clève.
Called the Amphithéâtre or the Antiques Room, this place consists of busts copied from ancient times.
The Green Groves are visible from the Bottom Fountain and were formerly decorated with statues and marbles vases.
Madame de Pompadour, who wished to “relieve the king’s boredom”, was the instigator of this small palace built by Ange-Jacques Gabriel between 1763 and 1768, close to the botanical gardens and the new menagerie. To please the Marquise who was always at the height of fashion, the architect abandoned the "rocaille" style and adopted a cubist form with straight lines in accordance with the latest "Greek style" architectural trend.
Only the garden level of the Petit Trianon is accessible to disabled visitors.
The Petit Trianon is open every day except Monday. During high season, it is open from midday to 18:30 (April to October) and from midday to 17.30 during low season (November to March). Last admission 30 minutes before closing. The gardens are open until 7:30 p.m. during high season and until 18:00 during low season.
French Garden of the Petit Trianon
In 1749, encouraged by Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV, residing in the Grand Trianon, extended his estate by creating a new "French-style" garden characterised by geometric and symmetrical lines. The parterres were designed by the architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel and the gardens were managed by Claude Richard, who confirmed the scientific vocation of the new estate. Vegetable garden, fig trees, flowers and rare fruits completed the nursery.
This is known as the "French" pavilion as it is located at the centre of the rectilinear gardens that were referred to in this way to distinguish them from the emerging English garden trend. Built by Gabriel in 1750, it consists of a vast circular room flanked by four small rooms that served as a boudoir, "rechauffoir" (warming room), kitchen and wardrobe.
The French Pavilion can only be viewed from the exterior.
Completed in 1773 by the architect to Louis XV, Ange-Jacques Gabriel, the chapel of the Petit Trianon was decorated in the latest neo-classical fashion, which was in vogue at the time. Inside, on the altar, is a canvas by painter Joseph-Marie Vien.
The Queen's Theatre was a small hall where games and operas took place. It was built in 1780 by Richard Mique on the orders of Marie-Antoinette. The severe exterior contrasts with the refined interior which, through its harmonies of blue, white and gold, recalls the opera of Versailles, only smaller since it has a capacity of just one hundred people. But the greatest luxury is not in the wood-panelled room painted in a false, veined white marble and adorned with pasteboard sculptures - it lies in the machinery used for the scenery changes, which has fortunately been preserved.
The inside of the theatre can be viewed from the hall without a guide.
In 1759, at the request of Louis XV, a famous botanist called Bernard de Jussieu created a botanical garden at Trianon and had the biggest glasshouses in Europe built. Today this is called the Jussieu Orangery. With gardeners Claude and Antoine Richard, he undertook experiments on exotic or rare plants: strawberries, pineapples, tobacco, etc.
Jussieu Pavilion - Research Centre
The Palace of Versailles Research Centre focuses on research and training in relation to courtly traditions at Versailles and throughout Europe, mainly in the 17th and 18th century.
The Jussieu Pavilion is not accessible without a guide.
Temple of Love
This Temple of Love, which Marie-Antoinette could see from her room in the Petit Trianon, was erected by Richard Mique in 1778 in a neo-classical style. Fully decorated in marble, this precious building is especially remarkable for the quality of the sculptures by Deschamps which ornament the Corinthian capitals, the friezes and the inside of the dome.
Dominating the lake, this charming octagonal pavilion was built by Richard Mique in 1777. It is complemented on the exterior by several sculptures by Deschamps: a fruit frieze garland once painted with colours, pediments evoking the pleasures of hunting and gardening, window imposts symbolising the four seasons.
The Belvedere can only be viewed from the exterior.
Sacrificing the botanic garden of Louis XV, Marie-Antoinette commissioned her architect, Richard Mique, and the painter Hubert Robert to create a picturesque garden. The vogue at the time was for English-style gardens, consisting of an artificial succession of "natural" landscapes. The Queen dreamed of free nature that was not imprisoned in glasshouses or parterres.
The Rock is a man-made elevation near the Belvedere. It took four years to complete, from 1778 to 1782. Thanks to a reservoir behind it, water flows into the lake in a torrent.
The Cool Pavilion was built in 1751 to serve as a dining room, probably for the consumption of produce from the dairy and vegetable garden.
A number of architectural digs took place in the Pavilion Frais garden between 2006 and 2009, the results of which were used to restore this building, which was built during Louis XV's reign and destroyed in 1810.
The Cool Pavilion can only be viewed from the exterior.
Marie-Antoinette, seeking to flee the Court of Versailles, ordered the construction of her hamlet in 1783. She regularly went there to experience the charms of country life, surrounded by her lady's companions. It became a genuine farm, managed by a farmer, whose produce supplied the kitchens of the Palace.
The workshops in the Hamlet can only be viewed from the exterior.
The largest building in the Hamlet, the Queen's House has a dining room and a games room on the ground floor, while the first floor is made up of a large living room, a small living room and a Chinese room. The building is linked to the Billiard House by a wooden gallery, decorated with white and blue faience flower pots with Marie-Antoinette's initials.
With its roof of reeds, dormer window, its lean-to and old stone staircase, the small Queen’s House, known as the boudoir, is made up of a living room and a wardrobe and is surrounded by a closed garden.
With its arrangement of right angles, the Warming Room is a traditional cottage that housed a large kitchen, a pantry and small offices. Dishes were brought here before being served in the dining rooms of Marie-Antoinette's Petit Trianon.
Swiss Guard Jean Bersy, guardian of Marie-Antoinette's estate, lived in this small residence, known as the "Swiss House". One of the fences is bordered by a path covered with trellis-work arches where games of bowls took place, restored in the 20th century.
The departure point for boat rides on the lake, the Fishery Tower, known as the Marlborough Tower, houses the material used for pike or carp fishing. Its upper portion was used as an observatory, making it possible to communicate with the Palace of Versailles using signals.
In the estate Dairy, Marie-Antoinette would taste the skimmed milk and churned butter. The Queen enjoyed using the dairy products from her Hamlet. Furnished with marble tables set with china, the Dairy was restored under Louis XVIII, in the 19th Century.
Built at the edge of the lake in Marie-Antoinette's Hamlet, near the Marlborough Tower, the Watermilland its wheel were used to grind the grain. It also had a washing place for the use of the village.
In Marie-Antoinette's Hamlet, next to the ballroom, the barn and the hen house which have all disappeared, the charming Dovecote still stands, built by Richard Mique in 1783. The Dovecote is located near the stone bridge which spans the carp-populated river, and has been designed in a picturesque style.
Linked to the Queen's House by a wooden gallery, the Billiard House hosted players in the Billiard Room, decorated with wardrobes, one for men and one for women. Upstairs is a small apartment that architect Richard Mique used when he visited the Hamlet.
In 1759, at the request of Louis XV, a famous botanist called Bernard de Jussieu created a botanical garden at Trianon and had the biggest glasshouses in Europe built. Today this is called the Jussieu Garden. With gardeners Claude and Antoine Richard, he undertook experiments on exotic or rare plants: strawberries, pineapples, tobacco, etc.
The Centaur basin, located next to General de Gaulle's former apartments, is an area comprising a fountain and a sculpture that is a 1780 copy of one of the Furietti Centaurs in Rome.
Twenty years after being built Trianon was too small to house all of Louis XIV’s family. Shortly before his death in 1708, Jules Hardouin-Mansart built this wing, Trianon-sous-Bois, whose sober elegance ushered in the eighteenth-century style. The king’s sister-in-law, Madame Palatine, and her children were the first to occupy the group of apartments in this part of the building.
The educational Farm
The Hamlet had a farm with various animals. Farming in the Hamlet was a serious business, and horticultural experiments were even carried out here.