Sunday, June 23, 2013

Versailles - jardin sous la pluie

We have our sandwiches in a recess looking out at the gardens - brollies much in evidence and not a lot of flânerie going on. By the look of that cloud,  the rain's settled in for the afternoon.
glistening cherubs
I have a sun hat and a waterproof - a spot of rain never put an Englishwoman off, did it?
There's a hidden café with parasol/umbrellas among the trees - "deux express" seem like a good idea.  Then onward to the Petit Trianon.
The way into the Petit Trianon

We all went into the house, for to get out of the rain.  This smaller palace feels far more human - wouldn't mind living there myself, though I'd need a couple of cleaners and a cook.
It was used for private meetings between Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour, then became strongly associated with Marie-Antoinette's understandable urge to escape from the big house.

Autofocus concentrates on the rainy window
Marie Antoinette's grotto in the English-style gardens
The Belvedere - unfortunately we can't go inside to shelter!

We walk around,  hoping that we're on our way to the Queen's Hamlet - the paper plan has gone soggy, and signs on the ground are thin. 
We end up walking past the Orangery to the Grand Trianon.  This smaller palace was built for Louis XIV and is where he spent time with his mistress Madame de Maintenon.  It was used as a residence for various members of the royal family, and also by Napoleon Bonaparte's family. It's an attractive one-storey building with lovely gardens.

We still hadn't found the hamlet, so we walked along to the Porte St Antoine and found our way in from there.
Note the irises growing on the roof
The animals are rather damp too.

A quote about Versailles estate, from Giuseppe Penone, an Italian sculptor whose works were exhibited around the house and garden - I didn't take much time to look at them.  I plead the weather in mitigation.

Laid out to exalt the power of one man, it underlines the force and power of nature which minimises man’s action, requiring unceasing maintenance work to preserve it.

No comments: