Special Places at Versailles Palace

Old Jan 9th, 2004, 07:20 PM
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Special Places at Versailles Palace

I have visited Versailles before and was overwhelmed by the expanse and the beauty of the place. I toured most of the palace and tried to tour as much of the gardens as I possibly could but it was quite overwhelming.

I was looking for advice about "hidden places" in Versailles - really in the gardens. Are there places you stumbled upon in the gardens that "wow'ed" you? Unusual sites to not miss? Places off the beaten path? Any web sites that might have more information than just the main site for Versailles?


I did a search for Versailles already and really didn't see an answer for me. If there is and I missed it, my apologies. I'd like to spend more time there on my next visit but if I had some idea of some great places to see there to plan my day well, I would appreciate it.
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Old Jan 9th, 2004, 07:45 PM
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I'm not into overdone luxury so wasn't fond of most of Versailles, but way out back after a wonderful walk through the gardens is the "Hameau" of Marie Antoinette. She built a little country village so she and her maids could "play" at being peasants. It is the most delightful little place. There are thatched houses, a little mill, a fascinating dovecote, a stream with bridge where you can feed the ducks and swans and best of all, there are farm animals all over the place. There are rabbits, ducks, geese, cows, chickens, donkeys, sheep all wandering about.

It is very peaceful there, necessary after all the ostentation of the palace. We loved it.
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Old Jan 10th, 2004, 08:23 AM
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Thanks for the information. I will have to look into that area.
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Old Jan 10th, 2004, 10:55 AM
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Did you see the Grand and Petit Trianons? It's fun to take a carriage ride to them from the bottom of the gardens. And have you been in the gardens on Sundays, when the Grands Eaux is in progress? The fountains are all turned on, and the dancing water is accompanied by period music.

Also, check into the smaller tours of the main palace, especially the one that includes rooms where furniture has been retrieved and put on display--and of course the opera house.
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Old Jan 10th, 2004, 11:18 AM
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Further: if you're going to be at Versailles during the summer months, you could go to the evening "spectacles" held by the Neptune Fountain. There are the most incredible fireworks, an historical pageant, dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet, all sorts of fun. Check the Versailles Tourist Board site for information come spring.
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Old Jan 10th, 2004, 11:22 AM
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We wanted to rent bikes but the stand was not open in October (at least, not that day).
It is across from the cafe at the beginning of the canal. Had lunch at the cafe, which was nice.
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Old Jan 10th, 2004, 12:53 PM
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Thanks for the ideas. I will be going in April this year. I tried to search the calendar of events for April a few days ago but didn't see much. Will check again.
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Old Jan 10th, 2004, 07:42 PM
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Many of the special events begin in the late spring.
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Old Jan 11th, 2004, 05:08 PM
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We thoroughly enjoyed spending time at the Queen's Hamlet ("Hameau"), and recommend it to anyone visiting the gardens.

Woody
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Old Jan 11th, 2004, 06:53 PM
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Something REALLY special at Versailles4 can be found on a a videtotape of "Miss Morrison's Ghosts."
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Old Jan 11th, 2004, 06:54 PM
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I, too, like Marie Antoinette's hameau. There is a hop-on, hop-off "train" that cuts down on the distance one has to walk and thus may make the gardens less overwhelming for you.
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Old Jan 11th, 2004, 07:05 PM
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They have brought back to Versailles the famous Lusitanian horses, about 20 of them to the restored barns and opened the Equestion Show Acadamy. They give performances but I lost the schedule.
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