Le Hameau de la reine is an integral part of Marie-Antoinette’s Estate. Timeless, far from the tumult of the castle, this place exalts the imagination.
An idyllic place for the queen to take a walk
In 1783, Marie-Antoinette decided to extend the northern part of the Trianon gardens and commissioned her architect Richard Mique to build the Hameau de la Reine. Originally made up of ten factories, these small rustic-looking houses, arranged around the lake, were an idyllic place for the queen to take a walk. If its style is not clearly identifiable, made of a mixture of varied rural architectures, it nevertheless exudes an undeniable unity, in keeping with the taste for a return to nature, a major trend at the end of the 18th century. The hamlet is divided into three distinct sectors. The first, located to the south of the stone bridge which crosses the river, includes the houses intended for pleasure: the mill (whose wheel is only a simple decorative element), the boudoir, the Queen’s house , billiards and the warmer. These were constructions concealing neat interiors, sometimes richly furnished, in which the queen could receive the company she invited to Trianon.
Played at being a farmer’s wife
Beyond the bridge, the houses are more dedicated to farming proper : barn, preparation dairy, cleaning dairy, fishery and guard’s house. The tower overlooking the lake is called “Marlborough Tower” because of the popular song at the time of construction. Further back, the farm completes the whole and its activity develops until the eve of the Revolution, comprising stable, pigsty, sheepfold and henhouse. Contrary to the tenacious tradition that the Queen and her entourage “played at being a farmer’s wife” in the middle of this rural setting populated by beribboned sheep, Marie-Antoinette used her hamlet above all as a destination for walks and as a place of reception. . The actual exploitation of this small estate, expressly desired by the queen, also played an educational role for the royal children. Laferme, damaged by time, was restored in 2006 and is now occupied by the Fondation Assistance aux Animaux. Your children will love meeting the different residents, all from rescue. Marie-Antoinette wanted the Hameau to play an educational role. This is still true today! Access to the Queen’s Hamlet is via the entrance to one of the two Trianons.
Château de Versailles