Palace of Versailles: Part Three- The Queen’s Hamlet

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This is the final post in our series about Versailles. In Part One, we toured the Palace of Versailles and in Part Two we visited the Trianon Palaces.

Hands down, our favourite part of Versailles was the Queen’s Hamlet, a rustic retreat built for Marie-Antoinette. The Queen is famed for her desire to escape the pageantry of the Versailles court and this rural hamlet was the perfect place to do so. A few hours of touring extravagant palaces and we were wanting to escape to a simpler setting too! | Queen's Hamlet at Versailles- Marie-Antoinette's Adorable Rustic Retreat
The Queen’s House

About the Queen’s Hamlet at Versailles

Marie-Antoinette desperately craved a village of her own, so in 1783 she ordered construction of the Queen’s Hamlet. She wanted her hamlet to resemble a Norman village, complete with thatched-roof cottages spread out around Big Lake. The Queen would regularly come here to enjoy the charms of country life and nobody was allowed visit her here without her permission. | Queen's Hamlet at Versailles- Marie-Antoinette's Adorable Rustic Retreat

Our Visit to the Queen’s Hamlet

It really is hard to describe just how lovely the Queen’s Hamlet is. I felt like I was in a fairytale land- its beauty was surreal! I couldn’t get over how cute the cottages were and Mike enjoyed hanging out by the lake watching the fish.

The Queen’s Hamlet was so picturesque and relaxing that we didn’t want to leave. In fact, we almost missed the last train back to Paris because we loved being here so much! | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen's Hamlet
The Mill

We highly recommend you save enough time on your visit to Versailles to explore the Queen’s Hamlet. It’s not only beautiful, but you get a glimpse into the personal, slightly more relatable life of the Queen. The best part though, was that there were no crowds. We had this place almost entirely to ourselves! | Queen's Hamlet at Versailles- Marie-Antoinette's Adorable Rustic Retreat

Exploring the Queen’s Hamlet at Versailles

Twelve houses were built in Marie-Antoinette’s hamlet, ten of which still stand.

Forming the reception area is the Queen’s house, billiard room, boudoir, mill, stove room, and refreshment dairy which were reserved for use by the Queen and her guests.

Four of the surrounding houses were used by the peasants and one house was reserved for meal preparation and domestic chores. | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen's Hamlet

The largest building of the hamlet is the Queen’s house and billiard room. This is where the queen’s private chambers were, as well as her parlours and salons. The two buildings are connected by a covered, slightly curved gallery decorated with trellises and flowers. | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen's Hamlet

Although the Queen’s cottages look rustic from the outside, their interiors were thoughtfully decorated and often luxuriously furnished, making them suitable for entertaining. The Queen would often host dinners in her house and the mill. | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen's Hamlet

Each of the houses in the hamlet had its own small garden and their balconies and staircases were decorated with flowers, much like they are today. I loved the climbing vines that covered some of the walls and arbours arching over the paths. | Queen's Hamlet at Versailles- Marie-Antoinette's Adorable Rustic Retreat | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen's Hamlet | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen's Hamlet

The Marlborough Tower, standing on the shore of Big Lake, was named after a popular song of the time. It was used for fishing, storage, and as the departure point for boat rides. | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen's Hamlet

Just outside the hamlet was a farm whose produce was used to feed the royals at the Palace. There also was a small collection of livestock- cows, goats and a bull- that were brought from Switzerland. During her time at the hamlet, the Queen enjoyed dressing in simple clothing and completing farm chores, such as milking the cows.

Today there is a small pumpkin garden in the hamlet and although we didn’t see any livestock roaming the property, we did encounter some other cute critters down by the pond. | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen's Hamlet | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen's Hamlet

Final Thoughts About Our Visit to the Queen’s Hamlet

I absolutely loved visiting the Queen’s Hamlet and couldn’t believe I missed it during my first trip to Versailles. It’s so photogenic, immensely charming, and left me wishing I could built a rustic retreat just like this for myself! | Queen's Hamlet at Versailles- Marie-Antoinette's Adorable Rustic Retreat

Tips for Visiting the Queen’s Hamlet at the Palace of Versailles

  • The Passport ticket gives you admission to the Palace of Versailles, the Trianon palaces and the Queen’s Hamlet. Here is a trusted site where you can buy digital tickets and have them immediately delivered to your smartphone:
  • If you don’t want to visit the main palace, a separate ticket can be bought for the Trianons and the Queen’s Hamlet for €12. You can buy this at the entrance to any of the Trianon palaces, or online.
  • We didn’t get asked to show our ticket at the Hamlet and I’m not sure why. It didn’t look like you could enter any of the buildings, or maybe they were already closed for the day. We did lose track of time!
  • The Queen’s Hamlet is open every day from 12:00 pm- 5:30 pm (closed on Mondays).
  • You can enter the Hamlet either by going first through the main Palace via the Grille d’Honneur gate, or directly via the Queen’s gate or the Saint Antoine gate.
  • For a fee, there is a shuttle “train” that will take you to the Trianons. You can board it beside the main palace, at the North Parterre. Make sure you ask when the last shuttle will be picking people up, so you don’t have to walk all the way back to the palace at the end of the day. Trust us, it’s a long walk and your feet will hate you!

* Information was correct at the time of publishing but can change without notice. Please confirm directly with service providers. | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen's Hamlet

Accommodations in Versailles

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  • AlouiseLove these photos. This looks like something from out of a fairytale.March 10, 2014 – 10:07 pmReplyCancel

  • JenniferIn December each year, there is a light and fireworks show at the Queen’s Hamlet. It was fantastic! I’ll also always remember our visit because Paris had just had an unusual snow. It was so wet and muddy that the mud ate the heel of my boot. And back in Paris the next day I had an excuse to shop. :)April 2, 2014 – 3:46 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda KrauseI love firework shows! And what a beautiful setting to get to watch one! Thanks for the tip.April 10, 2014 – 7:09 amReplyCancel

  • PhoebeI’ve been to Versailles a few times and I honestly didn’t know about this lovely place! I fell quite embarrassed! How could I have missed such loveliness? Next time I’m making a bee-line straight here. Thank you for linking this to #AllAboutFranceMarch 6, 2015 – 6:17 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda KrauseMy first time at Versailles I didn’t know about the hamlet. On my second trip, I made sure to visit it. It’s so adorable! We almost missed the last train back to Paris because we didn’t want to leave!March 6, 2015 – 8:59 pmReplyCancel

  • Eco-Gites of LénaultIt is lovely but you can see why the peasants got upset if this is how Marie Antoinette thought they lived ;) #AllAboutFranceMarch 16, 2015 – 12:51 pmReplyCancel

  • MagdalenaJonesI had the same problem. The time we went, we didn’t know about the hamlet and missed it :( I want to go back and see it as your photos have presented it beautifully. Thank you for sharing.May 4, 2015 – 2:58 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda KrauseThank you for your kind comment. Hopefully one day you’ll make a return trip to see the Hamlet. It’s such a charming place! I’d go back to Versailles a third time, but I’d skip the main palace and spend my day roaming the gardens and Queen’s Estate.May 4, 2015 – 5:41 pmReplyCancel


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