A home can be a place of relief from the outside world. A sanctuary to grow and learn and explore. We experience this now, and people have been experiencing this for centuries. The interaction between human and house has always been an interesting one. Today, we are looking at the hamlet of Marie Antionette. Her save haven from the intense lifestyle of being Queen to the French during a tumultuous time.
A Hamlet Safe Haven
Most architecture buff’s are aware of the iconic Chateau de Versailles. However, not all know about the Hameau de la Riene located in the parklands surrounding. Built in 1783, the hamlet was a place of semi privacy for the Queen, her closet friends and her loves to meet.
Designed by her favourite architects Richard Mique and painter Hubert Robert, the estate includes a variety of of buildings and cottages. These include;
The Queens House & Billiard Room;
The Marlborough Tower;
The Warming Room, ‘Rechauffior’;
The Barn (also served as a ballroom);
The village itself is a mixture of Norman, Flemish and French styles. All coming together to create a ‘rustic’ playground for the Queen and her courtiers. It was here in the English gardens and winding paths and canals that the Queen could dress up as a shepherdess and pretend her life was not so structured and strict.
It was this unintentional mockery of the peasant lifestyle that helped create and build the resentment of the French people towards their monarchy. We all know of course the sad end of Marie and her husband and the French Revolution. Unfortunately sections of the estate also got severely damaged, including the Grange which was also used as a ballroom.
Luckily for us, you can still visit the estate today and mill around in the grounds that Marie would hide in. We highly recommend visiting this marvel and the Palace of Versailles, we know we will one day!
If you enjoyed today’s blog post, take a look back at some of our previous looks into the private places of some of the worlds most iconic people.