Things to do near Paris – Visit the Rest of the Versailles Estate

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One of the advantages of a day at Versailles is getting to see more than just the main Royal Palace. At the far end of the grounds are two additional palaces, smaller in size. Here you can visit the Grand Trianon and the Estate of Marie-Antoinette.

“J’ai fait Versailles pour ma Cour, Marly pour mes amis et Trianon pour moi.”

“I made Versailles for my Court, Marly for my friends and Trianon for me.”

~Louis XIV, King of France

The Grand Trianon, an Italianate palace of pink marble (hence its nickname the ‘Marble Trianon’) was built in 1687 as a less formal residence for King Louis XIV and his family. In later years, the Grand Trianon served as the seasonal residence of King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, who lived here prior to moving to the Petit Trianon next door. Later inhabitants included Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, Empress Marie-Louise, and King Louis-Philippe. More recently the Grand Trianon palace housed an official presidential residence and offices of Charles de Gaulle, and has been a guesthouse and meeting place for official state visits from foreign dignitaries.

Salon des Aides de Camp Grand Trianon Versailles Estate France

Though much smaller than the nearby Château de Versailles, the Grand Trianon is a grand palace in its own right and definitely worth visiting with any of the ticket options, most especially with the Paris Museum Pass.

Left Wing Corridor Grand Trianon Versailles Estate France

Your tour of the Grand Trianon takes you through several rooms whose furnishings date back to the First French Empire and the reign of Napoleon I.

Boudoir of the Empress Grand Trianon Versailles Estate France

These include the Boudoir of the Empress (formerly occupied by Napoleon’s mother),

Mirrors Salon Grand Trianon Versailles Estate France

the Mirrors Salon (which boasts a view of the Grand Canal), the Bedroom of the Empress (once used by Marie-Louise, wife of Napoleon and grand-niece of Marie-Antoinette),

Chapel Salon Grand Trianon Versailles Estate France

the Chapel Salon (an antechamber and chapel used by Louis XIV),

Lords Antechamber Grand Trianon Versailles Estate France

and the Lords Antechamber (a Guards Room turned dining room also known as the Ushers Salon).

Arcaded Peristyle Grand Trianon Versailles Estate France

From these rooms in the Left Wing, walk through the colonnaded Péristyle to see the right wing,

Grand Trianon Gardens Versailles Estate France

 or take in a view of the Trianon Gardens.

Peristyle and Courtyard Grand Trianon Versailles Estate France

Continue on to the Right Wing of the palace and the apartments of the Emperor. These rooms include

Round Salon Grand Trianon Versailles Estate France

the Round Room, the Emperor’s

Emperor's Family Drawing Room Grand Trianon Versailles Estate France

Family Drawing Room, Music Room,

Louis-Philippe's Family Drawing Room Grand Trianon Versailles Estate France

the Louis-Phillipe Family Room,

Malachite Salon Grand Trianon Versailles Estate France

Malachite Room,

Emperor's Topographical Office with Napoleon's Desk Grand Trianon Versailles Estate France

Emperor’s Topographical Office,

Cotelle Gallery Grand Trianon Versailles Estate France

Cotelle Room, and Gardens Salon.

The Emperor’s Small Apartment and the Trianon-sous-Bois, which include Napoleon’s private chambers and the Office of General Charles de Gaulle, are only accessible with special guided tours.

Next door to the Grand Trianon is le domaine de Marie-Antoinette, also known as Marie-Antoinette’s Estate. Greatly influenced by the young queen’s whims and wishes, this estate consists of the Petit Trianon, the English Gardens, the French Gardens, the Queen’s Theatre, the Orangerie of Jussieu, and the Queen’s Hamlet. A ‘royal misfit’, Marie-Antoinette preferred a low-key life away from the Parisian Court and it was here, in her small palace and rustic village that she came to escape the pressures of her very public life.

Exterior Petit Trianon Versailles Estate France

The Petit Trianon, a much smaller palace than the Grand Trianon – and a lot less grand – reflects the informal lifestyle of its former inhabitants. This mini palace was built in the 1760s for Madame de Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV, and in 1774 was a gift from King Louis XVI to his wife Marie-Antoinette.

Grand Staircase Petit Trianon Versailles Estate France

A tour of the Palace is self-guided and beginning on the Ground Floor, you’ll see the Grand Staircase, Guards’ Room, Billiard Room,

Petit Trianon Warming Room Versailles Estate France

and the Warming Room (where meals from the off-site kitchen were warmed prior to serving).

First Floor Antechamber Petit Trianon Versailles Estate France

Moving on to the First Floor, step into the Queen’s Apartments and Reception Rooms which include

Living Room in Queen's Apartments Petit Trianon Versailles Estate France

the Living Room,

Bedchamber in Queen's Apartments Petit Trianon Versailles Estate France

Bedchamber, and Cabinet of Movable Mirrors (with specially designed mirrors that could be moved to cover the windows and create a double mirror effect).

Continue up to the Mezzanine Level, which served as an area for the palace’s domestic staff. Rooms here include the Rooms of the First Lady’s Maid and the Lady-in-Waiting, and the Bathroom (designed and built in 1837 at the request of Louis Philippe for his son the Duke of Orléans).

Hamlet Houses and Vineyard Domaine de Marie Antoinette Versailles Estate France

After touring the Petit Trianon, you may wish to take a short walk east to visit Le Hameau, the charming little village known in English as the Queen’s Hamlet. In essence, Marie-Antoinette’s own personal theme park, the village was created at her request in 1783. This is where she retreated with her closest friends to enjoy an intimately rustic life as a peasant, albeit a Royal one with great privilege, surrounded by a working livestock farm, a lake filled with pike and carp, a grain mill, and a dairy, all of which supplied products used in the Palace. The buildings you’ll see in the Hamlet include the Queen’s House, the Boudoir,

Malborough Tower and Refreshments Dairy Domaine of Marie Antoinette Versailles Estate France

Malborough Tower, the Mill, Dairy,

Dovecote in Marie Antoinette's Hamlet Versailles Estate France

Dovecote, and Guard’s Room.

As you stroll through the gardens and surrounding grounds of the wide spread Queen’s Estate, you may also come across other interesting features such as the Queen’s Theatre where Marie-Antoinette staged her own theatrical productions,

Orangery de Jussieu Petit Trianon Versailles Estate France

the Orangerie of Jussieu, the Belvedere,

Rock Feature and Belvedere Domaine de Marie Antoinette Versailles Estate France

Temple of Love, and the Grotto.

Before leaving the Versailles Estate, make your way to the Grand Canal. Designed by André Le Nôtre, landscape architect to Louis XIV, this long ‘light-filled sheet of water’ – over a mile in length – took over 10 years to create. Once the site of nautical spectacles for the King and his Court, the Grand Canal is quite a spectacle all on its own.

Getting there:

The Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon, Queen’s Hamlet and surrounding gardens are located on the Versailles Estate, about a 30-minute walk from the Château de Versailles. Get there from the Château quickly and easily with the Petit Train service.

Ticket Info:

Adult Admission = 10.00€; includes the Grand Trianon + Petit Trianon + Estate of Marie Antoinette + Trianon Gardens

FREE with the Paris Museum Pass; includes access to all unguided tours, open according to the season: Palace of Versailles + Grand & Petit Trianon + Estate of Marie-Antoinette + exhibitions

Combo tickets covering various areas of the Versailles Estate include the following:

Passport = 18.00€; covers Versailles Palace and grounds + Grand & Petit Trianon Palaces + Estate of Marie-Antoinette + Musical Fountain Show and Musical Gardens (April to October) + exhibitions

2-day Passport = 25.00€; allows entry for 2 consecutive days to explore Versailles Estate at your leisure

Travel Tips:

Since your time in Paris is limited, we highly recommend taking the Petit Train transportation service; it’s the cheapest way to get around on the Estate for someone with limited time. Note: there are other transportation options available, such as the electric carts for rent, but at a cost of about 32.00€ for the first hour and 8.00€ for each additional 15 minutes, the under 8.00€ fee for the train is a very good deal.

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