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Grand Trianon

Part 2 of the Trianon Posts, I’m giving you a glimpse into the lavish rooms of Grand Trianon and the stunning gardens.

We wandered from the gardens of Petit Trianon, down the many paths beneath lush trees, until the pink facade of the Grand Trianon peaked from beyond perfectly trimmed hedges. What a site to see, an entirely pink palace! Dressed in Marie Antoinette Style, we explored the royal chambers and the lush royal gardens.

A little history of Grand Trianon…

Built at the request of King Louis XIV of France (r. 1643–1715), as a retreat for himself and his mistress of the time, the Marquise de Montespan, Grand Trianon was a place where he and invited guests could take light meals away from the strict étiquette of the Court. The Grand Trianon is set within its own park, which includes the Petit Trianon (the much smaller château built between 1762 and 1768 during the reign of Louis XV).

Louis XIV commissioned the architect Louis Le Vau to design a porcelain pavilion (Trianon de porcelaine) to be built there.

The Grand Trianon Castle in Summer The façade was made of white and blue “porcelain” (ceramic) tiles from the French manufactures. Construction began in 1670 and was finished in 1672. But by 1687, the fragile ceramic tiles had deteriorated to such a point that Louis XIV ordered its demolition and its replacement with one made of stronger material. Commission of the work was entrusted to the architect Jules Hardouin Mansart. The new structure was twice the size of the porcelain pavilion and made of red marble.
The Grand Trianon would often play host to King XIV and his wife. Louis XVI made no modifications to the Grand Trianon. His wife, Queen Marie Antoinette, who preferred the Petit Trianon, gave a few theatrical representations in the galerie des Cotelle, a gallery with paintings by Jean l’Aîné Cotelle.
After frolicking through the brightly colored gardens at sunset, we made our way through the Grand Trianon and glimpsed some of the beautiful rooms. The Yellow room was my absolute favorite, making such a bold statement with the most color I’ve ever seen in a room! I felt quite at home, I won’t lie. Afterwards we walked under the trees towards the main gardens of the Chateau Versailles, where we met a royal swan who ate ice cream from Josh’s hand and bowed his long arching neck in gratitude (no I’m not making this up!). I ate delicious ice cream next to the lake, enjoying the sweet moment before panic set in when I realize I didn’t have my iPhone! We searched the tall grass to no avail. I racked my brains and retraced my steps, and managed to remember setting it down for just one brief moment back on a column of Grand Trianon to model. We ran back as fast as we could, as everything was now closed. At this point we had walked so many miles across the gardens, we were ready to collapse. We were so relieved to see a guard was still sitting at the gate of Trianon, and with much shouting in my rough French from across the main courtyard, I directed him towards the column and voila! He did finally find my phone!
I feel so lucky to have been able to do a photoshoot in this seriously beautiful domain. It’s always such an amazing day getting to be there and discover something new every time.

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