Friday, September 17, 2010
"An Adventure" at Versailles
Ahh, Versailles. I love it. I have visited perhaps a dozen times. Each time I am enveloped in the beauty of the architecture and grounds, and taken away in time by its rich and glorious history.
It is incredibly difficult to get a good photo of the castle as it is mind-bogglingly big.
The hall of mirrors is one of my favorites.
As is the Opera Royal de Versailles which was completed in 1770 in celebration of the marriage of Louis XVI to Marie Antoinette.
(I know that they used to host some of the world's most famous operas in this theater. It has been under construction for a number of years. It may be back to selling tickets to concerts. Please check if you are interested, what an experience.)
Marie Antoinette's bedroom.
My favorite of favorites is Le Petit Trianon. The concept is too camp!
Louis XVI had it built for one of his mistress who died four years before its completion so he gave it to his wife, Marie Antoinette, as a place to get away from all the pressures of royal obligations and social life.
Marie Antoinette reigned supreme when in residence at Le Petit Trianon, even the King had to ask permission to visit.
Le Hameau de la Reine was a small "farm" built on the grounds of Le Petit Trianon. The "farm" had cows and a dairy. There, Marie Antoinette and ladies in waiting would dress up and pretend to be shepherdesses and milkmaids. Bien sur, the cows were scrubbed clean as a whistle before Marie's queenly hands touched them!
What a lark!
In 1901, two English women, Anne Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain visited Versailles. The were both academic women, principal and vice-principal of St. Hugh's College, Oxford. Not exactly the type of woman given to flight or fancy.
They experienced what is called a "Slip in Time".
Anne Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain realized later that they had visited Le Petit Trianon on the anniversary of the taking of the Tuileries Palace in 1792 When Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were taken prisoner. They also learned that Marie Antoinette had been sitting in the gardens of Le Petit Trianon when she heard the news that a mob was marching from Paris to Versailles.
They believed that Marie Antoinette's terrifying memory of this moment somehow stayed and persisted through time and that they experienced it through a "Slip in Time".
Anne Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain published a book entitled An Adventure in 1911. You can purchase it at Amazon.com under the title The Ghosts of Trianon.
Kit Brown says, "
To believe or not to believe?
Gros bisous de Marie Antoinette et a demain!