Hameau de la Reine

Easily our favorite stop in the grounds of the Trianon was the Hameau de la Reine, or Queen’s Hamlet, constructed on the order of Queen Marie Antoinette. Despite centuries of slander, Marie Antoinette was not a clueless ditz who pretended to be a peasant girl in her Barbie hovel playset. In reality, the Queen’s Hamlet…

The Trianon

The Trianon was a village demolished for an expansion of the royal grounds of Versailles under the reign of Louis XIV. Equally influential in the development of garden and park design, the Trianon was built to provide a respite from the formality of the court at Versailles, and in the process and in combination with…

The Gardens of Versailles

Business up front, party in the back, as they say. The backside of Versailles facing the extensive gardens is made up of three flat elevations with large swaths of reflecting ponds and gravel paths on the first terrace. Looking out over the lower terraces, the various fountains, which were all off on the day we…

The Palace of Versailles

Visiting Versailles just about drove me crazy. It’s an exhausting day, taking a commuter railroad out from central Paris. But you have to take the right train, from the right station to the correct destination because there are multiple depots in the town of Versailles. It was a beautiful day for the start, and it…

The Louvre

I get a good laugh out of the Louvre. It is an absurdity. Obscenely huge, the product of around twenty expansions and now the home of a gigantic museum with a stellar art collection as well as numerous other institutions in other wings, the Louvre was never the seat of the royal government in France….

Foundations of the Louvre

Like St. Louis, Paris is multi-layered. One of the sights that I was not going to miss out on are the original foundations of the Louvre fortress, which are now viewable after being buried for centuries under the courtyard of the eastern portion of the famous palace. This helpful illustration that somehow photographed well above…

The Luxembourg Palace

Another influential palace is the Luxembourg, constructed by Marie de Medici, the Florentine wife of Henry IV, who was assassinated. Their son was Louis XIII, and after numerous plots against by his own mother, he finally exiled her out of the kingdom. The famous Marie de Medici cycle was designed to fit in a giant…

Some Random Impressions of France

First off, perhaps I would like to start off with some impressions of Paris, and France in general. This was my twelfth trip to Europe, but my first to France. Many people were surprised that I had never been, and that was a major reason I chose to finally go. As I remarked to someone,…

Back from Paris and Northern France with over a Thousand Photographs

While certainly I wanted to show off the beauty of Dutchtown for two weeks, that was also cover for the fact I was traveling in Europe for over a week, specifically in Paris and throughout northern France. I took over 1,000 photos, which is slacking off a bit considering I took over 2,400 photos back…