My garden’s looking pretty ugly right now. We finally did get a good rain this weekend, but it doesn’t really matter anymore as temps are cooling down and most everything is finished out there. Since I’ve been meaning to share pictures of Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet Village and the gardens at Versailles from our recent trip to Paris anyway, I figure this is a good day to do it!
Marie Antionette’s Hamlet Village
Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet is easily my favorite part of Versailles. I remember visiting there with my parents when I was a little girl and really wanted to go back on this trip. It was quite a walk from the main palace and I think a lot of people don’t make it back there. If you are interested in gardens and country life though, this is one part of Versailles you won’t want to miss!
Marie Antoinette had the Hamlet constructed in 1783 as a place she could go to escape the rigors and stress of life at Court. Can you imagine? The Hamlet became a working farm and supplied food for the royals at Versailles. I was so impressed with the gardens! I loved seeing all the delicious looking veggies still growing there today. I’m not sure what they do with the bounty from these gardens now, but I”m sure they use them. French food is absolutely amazing and they do seem to value quality ~ a trait we sadly appear to have lost here in the US.
I loved the little gardens that were located behind each of the Norman style buildings. I found cucumbers behind little hedges.
They also grew tomatoes, pumpkins, lettuce, potatoes, carrots, cabbages. I’m always curious about other people’s gardens and these were a lot of fun to look at. Of course, it must be easy to maintain a spotless and weed-free garden with a staff of seemingly unlimited gardeners! These gardens were truly spectacular. I wish I had more help in my own garden.
I can just imagine Marie Antoinette, her ladies in waiting, and her children lounging around at the Hamlet.
Smelling the geraniums…
Watching the gourds grow down the buildings…
We saw gorgeous grapes growing in fun arbors!
Can you imagine running through this tunnel of grapes as a child?
And I had never seen artichokes growing before so I was especially excited to examine them! Isn’t that pretty!
We saw plenty of live animals at the Hamlet – including these goats, chickens, sheep, and a couple cows. These goats really cracked me up. 🙂
The hamlet buildings are still beautiful, though they are in a state of disrepair and we weren’t able to go inside any of them. They are such a stark contrast to the over the top opulence of the Palace of Versailles.
If you look closely through this gate, you can see Versailles off in the distance.
To give you a true contrast, here is the golden gate leading up to the Palace of Versailles.
The more formal gardens behind Versailles…
Marie Antoinette’s bed…
The Hall of Mirrors…photo is taken high because it was so crowded. So many more people visited the palace than walked out to the Hamlet.
And me being silly! 🙂
At the end of the day, Dan and I waited for our lovely friend to pick us up with a drink at the O’ Paris Pub.
If a trip to Paris is in your future, I highly recommend a trip to Versailles. It’s located a bit outside the city and getting there takes a bit of doing, but the views are spectacular and it’s well worth the price and wait! If you head out there though, don’t forget to make it all the way out to the Hamlet! You won’t regret the walk!
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