In 1783 Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, commissioned the construction of a Hamlet in Versailles as a sort of retreat from Château Versailles. Cottages, gardens and animals provided a very different and rustic feel as opposed to the grandeur of the castle and it was there that she could get away from the prying eyes of the courts.
L'Hameau de la Reine is thick with whimsy. The quaint cottages surrounded by greenery feel like they're miles and miles away from the formality of palace. I could have whittled away hours there taking naps under the sun in a quiet corner of a garden, wandering between the cottages and laying out a blanket, enjoying a picnic and watching the animals move throughout their pastures. The entire area looked just as if it came off the pages of a fairytale.
We were lucky enough to arrive during a lull when it was quiet enough to still feel like the country which was a welcome reprieve from the busy-ness of the other sites. Perhaps that contributed to the experience for me but it was far and away my favourite part of the entire Versailles property.
Excuse me while in inundate you with photos - I just couldn't narrow them down!
Have you been to Versailles? What was your favourite part of the experience?