Marie Antoinette’s Play Village

Posted on November 10, 2013. Filed under: France, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Travel - Marie Antionette

Marie Antoinette had a small village built on the grounds of the palace at Versailles in 1783 where she could enjoy the “charms of country life” as explained by the Versailles website.  This small village allowed her to escape the pressures of court life as she could pretend to be an average maiden in the country.  I wonder if it fueled the hatred for her by the common people who came to see the royals not as benevolent leaders, but as rulers who exploited them and indulged in decadence.

I also wonder why the buildings seem to be crumbling badly.  I first saw them in 1985 and even then visitors could not enter the structures.  Looking through the windows it was interesting to see them in their unrestored state, just a mess.  The mind pictures the elegant queen and her ladies-in-waiting strolling about the marble floors, balconies and spiral staircases.

I went back in 2010, expecting that by then there had probably been restoration and maybe it would even be possible to enter the buildings.  But no, they looked to be in much worse shape than when I had last seen them.  I even checked my photos from 1985 to confirm my suspicions.  After a little checking I see that the main building, the Queen’s House will begin restoration in 2014.  Perhaps enough funds have finally been raised (it seems Dior has pitched in financially).  I’m glad because the hamlet represents an interesting time in France’s history.  It’s also just darned cute and I’d like to see them preserved!  I think this may warrant another visit in 2016, perhaps, as the project is expected to take 18 months.  I always like having an excuse to travel!

The Queen's House

The Queen’s House

Travel - Marie Antionette 2

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4 Responses to “Marie Antoinette’s Play Village”

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Interesting! An excuse to travel is especially welcome when the destination is France! I did a spoof on Queen Marie – if interested, it’s here:
http://cookupastory.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/the-queens-beets-let-them-eat-cake/

I LOVE your spoof! Will be making beet cake this week!! Thank you! And yes, really, it is always easy to come up with excuses to travel to France!

Hi, I was just there at the end of October 2016 and I couldn’t find the Queen’s house. Went through the village twice and all the way to St. Anthony’s gate. The only thing I can think is that it was the large structure covered by a painted screen with advertisement. It said restoration by Dior. Unfortunately they don’t provide any information about the different buildings and the maps are not detailed at all.

Oh, that’s too bad! I bet you’re right about the screen as Dior is sponsoring the restoration. A good reason to return, don’t you think?


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