The Grand Trianon at Versailles

Have you ever gotten to visit Versailles?   The first time I visited this chateau was just a month before we knew we would be moving to France.  I was so overwhelmed with the whole experience of Versailles that first time, but I loved every minute of it.

Since that first visit I have been fortunate enough to go back a few times.  Today I got to go with my walking group and professional guide.  If you are ever an expat in Paris I would highly recommend finding a good touring group to join.  My group meets twice a month and we have visited some well known and some not so well known places.

Today we focused on the Grand Trianon.  This is a small chateau on the grounds of Versailles, it was built as an escape from the rules and structure of the main palace.  This was considered their small country home.  HA!

Usually when we are site seeing we have 4 little people with us and we can only stay in one spot for so long.  Today was a very different experience, we spent over 2 hours on just this building.  There have been many people that have used this home since the late 1600s when it was built.  There have been many different decorating styles, inhabitants, and arrangements over these past 350 years.

This first chandelier caught my eye because of the star shaped crystals. These chandeliers are always impressive, but I liked this tiny little detail that set this one apart.IMG_2283 IMG_2284

The furniture in this home mostly showed a white painted frame, that denotes it was intended for a country home ( a less formal space).  This chair was interesting to me because of the purple accents on the chair frame with the blue and white fabric on the seat cushion.

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This table was used to hold letters securely until they could be transcribed or mailed.  I love how pieces of furniture had such specific purposes.


This chandelier was in what was Josephine’s room when Napoleon was in power.

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The details here are just amazing.  Every single chandelier I saw today was beautifully finished all the way to the ceiling with a cord cover, bow and tassels.


The sconces today caught my eye over and over again.  For every set of sconces I photographed there are at least 2 in not 4 in the room.


I have always loved these couches, with one low arm, when I have visited here in the past.  I found out today this was one of Napoleon’s favorite type of chairs to sit it.  He would let his feet hang over the lower arm and he would go through his paperwork and through the un needed pages into the fire. Can you just picture a man with so much power in such a relaxed pose?


An example of an early full length mirror.  Being able to see yourself from Top to Toe was a luxury.


Another beautiful and unique chandelier and sconce.

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Purple and yellow, I love this color combination.


After plenty of white framed furniture this soft blue was striking.IMG_2298

This room had a few beautiful touches.

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This is a family portrait of Louis XIV’s son, the Dauphine of France, with his family.  The Dauphine was an avid hunter and loved to hunt practically every single day.  Louis XIV did not get to pass his crown to his son pictured here or his grand son pictured here, but his great grand son. I have heard this story before, but seeing a picture of a family like this and knowing they didn’t get to live the futures they saw ahead of them is sad.


These next few pictures are from the rotunda area.  It is such a strikingly beautiful room.


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In the room with the billiards table there was an interesting feature.  There are doors at the very top that opened for the musicians.  There was an area up there for them to sit and play and the sound could cover the room.


This yellow was striking, and a bit overwhelming.

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I think this was my favorite sconce of the day.

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These pieces of green Malachite were a gift from the Tsar of Russia.IMG_2319 IMG_2320  IMG_2322 IMG_2323 IMG_2324

Napoleon’s office.  I love the green drapes and the way they frame the chandelier.  Not surprising that one of Napoleon’s favorite style chairs was in his office.

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I thought this was a beautiful rug in his office. Of course I love this sconce as well.  In person the light fixture had a very geometric feel to it.

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The ball room.

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If you ever get the chance to visit the Grand Trianon don’t forget to go out to the gardens and go to the right.  There is more to see outside than you would think at first.  Of course there are many, many more fascinating stories, more beautiful pieces of furniture and more grand rooms to walk through, but this was what captured my attention today.  I hope you enjoy.

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