Postcard Perfect: Hameau de la Reine, Versailles, France

Marie Antoinette's model village

By ; published Monday, November 21st, 2011
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Photo Credit: 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.



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