Postcard Perfect: Hameau de la Reine, Versailles, France

Marie Antoinette's model village

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Photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff

Hameau de la Reine, or the Queen's Hamlet, was built for Marie Antoinette in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles. Constructed between 1785-1792, it was intended to be a tiny model village - complete with a farm for eggs and dairy, a barn, mill, dressing room and a "Queens House" at the epicenter of the hamlet where Antoinette could reside. A nearby pond turned a mill wheel, and natural gardens wound between the buildings. Like so much at the palace, the Hameau de la Reine was a masterful illusion. Designed to look "rustic" and secluded in the French countryside, it was in actuality lavishly constructed and located well within Versailles' grounds.

The Queen's Hamlet was abandoned after the French Revolution, and only renovated in the 1990s. It is now open to visitors and an easy day trip from Paris.


About Rachel Greenberg

Rachel's grandmother introduced her to travel at the tender age of seven by making good on a much-anticipated promise for tea at the Plaza in New York.  Rachel lived on the west coast at the time, and flew all by herself to the east coast.   The travel seed took root.  Rachel studied Spanish in Antigua, Guatemala before attending college at UC San Diego.  As a junior, Rachel studied abroad in Budapest, Hungary, and traveled as much as possible in Central and Eastern Europe.  During this time, Rachel also had the opportunity to explore the Romanian countryside, stopping along the way at gypsy flea markets and communist-apartment-buildings-turned-dance-halls.

Now based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Rachel lives happily in the city's Mission district.

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