A queen playing for peasant – Paris, France

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The excursion of the first year of the art history bachelor always goes to Paris. At first I wasn’t happy that I was placed in the garden group, until of course I thought about Versailles! We had a whole day to visit Versailles and we needed it. We walked so much that I was literally limping at the end of the day. I guess sometimes you have to make sacrifices to see beautiful things.

Everyone who visits Versailles walks through the castle. Most people also walk around in the Versailles gardens, where the most famous fountains are. But not everyone visits the Grand Trianon and the Petit Trianon. I don’t blame them, it takes a lot of walking to see all the gardens in one day. But because I was there with a group of art history students and a very enthusiastic teacher, we walked around in all the gardens.

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One thing I found very fun and cute was the Queen’s Hamlet at the Petit Trianon. The story goes that queen Marie Antoinette didn’t like being at court. So to escape, she started living in the Petit Trianon, a relatively small villa outside the Versailles gardens. Behind the Petit Trianon, she had two gardens constructed: one English garden with meandering paths and volley’s and one garden with a little hamlet.

The hamlet consisted out of a few cute small houses, that looked like farmer’s houses. I heard that the queen sometimes even played a peasant woman here and then her servants would dress up as farmers too and play along with her. Can you imagine a queen wanting to escape reality so bad that she constructs a whole hamlet and plays dress up with her servants?

Admission to the gardens is free most of the time. In the high season, there’s a small fee on tuesday and in the weekend. If you would also like to visit the Trianon palace, you could either buy a seperate ticket of 10 euros or you could buy a ticket that includes everything at Versailles for 18 euros. If you’re European and under 26 like me, admission is free!

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