If you are visiting Marie Antoinette’s domain in Versailles – the Petit Trianon and her hamlet – make sure you continue on up to her farm. Escaping from the stifling court life in the Palace, she would come to Trianon and play at life in the country. The hamlet and farm were both built for her and were completely artificial, the purposely dilapidated looking buildings housed splendid rooms inside where she would entertain, play cards and take tea (now closed inside as in need of major renovations, about to take place funded by Dior). A farmer was brought in to tend to the crops and animals, and she would from time to time collect eggs, or milk the cows (apparently the cows were specially cleaned, brushed and put in a clean barn for her when she wanted to see them!) The farm supplied her and her children with fresh eggs, milk, vegetables and fruit, and has vineyards which you can still see today.
It’s a world away from life at the Palace of Versailles. Today it’s still a working farm and is used to teach children about farm life – you can still see pigs, ducks, chickens and various other animals roaming around the lovely old buildings.
It’s included with the entry ticket to the Petit Trianon. As I’ve said in other posts about Versailles (see here) if you have time, do try and spend a whole day here and see both the palace and gardens and the Petit Trianon and Marie Antoinette’s hamlet. It’s a beautiful day out and the best way to understand the lives and eventual downfall of the French monarchy, from the glorious reign of Louis XIV ‘The Sun King’ to Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette and their tragic end.
- Le Domaine de Marie Antoinette, Château de Versailles
Open daily except Mondays.
Take the RER C to Versailles Rive Gauche Chateau or the train from Gare St Lazare to Versailles Rive Droite. It’s about a 25 minute walk from the main chateau.