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Earlier this summer, while in Paris, we spent an afternoon at Versailles. Our earlier posts on the main chateau and the Grand Trianon are here and here.

There were two sights at Versailles that particularly impressed us – the peristyle at the Grand Trianon palace and the Grand Canal.

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A peristyle is a columned porch or open colonnade in a building surrounding a court. The peristyle at Le Grand Trianon connects the east and west wings.

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Against a blue sky (grey in the photo), the black and white tiles provide a chess-board effect.

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Just beyond the peristyle is a garden with a fountain in the center (not turned on) and sculptured cubic shrubs.GrandTrianon-15

The construction of the peristyle was apparently supervised by Louis XIV personally. For a time, it was covered in glass.

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At dusk, staff at the palace came out with these lamps to mark out an area in the court for parking. The palace was apparently hosting a banquet that evening (we saw them setting up a grand dining room for the event).

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What a place to have a party!

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Here is a 1920 map of the palace (courtesy of Wikipedia) – Click on it to see it in full screen size.

1920 Versailles map

The Grand Canal is a vast pond that is shaped like a cross.  This is a view of the Bras de Trianon and in the distance the Bras de la Menagerie.

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The Grand Canal runs left to right across the photo.

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A vantage point near Le Grand Trianon.

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On a grey day, the body of water is a vast, eerily dreamy place. Surreal and somehow theatrical, for lack of better words to describe it.

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I’d like to see how the gardener shave these tall trees into that boxy shape. The machine must be huge.

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The Grand Canal is just visible in a distance from the Chateau in this photo.

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Have to come back on a day with better weather … and may even give the boat a go.

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One Comment

  1. I was there July 7, 2013.


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