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

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! | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen

The Queen’s House

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. | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen

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

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, is that there are no crowds! We had this place almost entirely to ourselves. | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen

The Queen’s Hamlet

Twelve houses were built in the hamlet, ten of which still stand. The Queen’s House, Billiard Room, Boudoir, Mill, and Refreshment Dairy were reserved for use by the Queen and her guests. Four of the houses were used by the peasants and one house was reserved for meal preparation and domestic chores. | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen

Each of the houses 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. | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen

The Marlborough Tower, standing on the shore of Big Lake, was used for fishing and as the departure point for boat rides. | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen

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. | Palace of Versailles: Part 3- The Queen

Tips for Visiting the Queen’s Hamlet

  • 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 €10. 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!

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By Rhonda Krause
Alouise - March 10, 2014 - 10:07 pm

Love these photos. This looks like something from out of a fairytale.

Jennifer - April 2, 2014 - 3:46 am

In 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. :)

Rhonda Krause - April 10, 2014 - 7:09 am

I love firework shows! And what a beautiful setting to get to watch one! Thanks for the tip.

Phoebe @ Lou Messugo - March 6, 2015 - 6:17 am

I’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 #AllAboutFrance

Rhonda Krause - March 6, 2015 - 8:59 pm

My 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!

Eco-Gites of Lénault - March 16, 2015 - 12:51 pm

It is lovely but you can see why the peasants got upset if this is how Marie Antoinette thought they lived ;) #AllAboutFrance

MagdalenaJones - May 4, 2015 - 2:58 pm

I 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.

Rhonda Krause - May 4, 2015 - 5:41 pm

Thank 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.

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