Experiencing the Kinder, Gentler Side of Versailles at the Grand Trianon

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While the palace at Versailles is, objectively, the most impressive part of the show, I’ve always had a soft spot for the “smaller” (but still quite large) buildings on the estate, the Grand Trianon and the Petit Trianon. They are less crowded but still packed full of gorgeous treasures, a sort of Versailles-lite that’s less over-the-top but still satisfying to visit.

The Grand Trianon’s rooms in particular always wow me: the stark white hallway that almost feels like the kinder, gentler cousin of the Hall of Mirrors, the plush, colorful carpets and drapes, and the ornate, elegant furniture. For some reason, the drapes in particular always get me, particular the room with the rich blue and yellow drapery and tassels. Forever a Michigan Wolverine, I suppose.

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I still think the main palace is worth a visit but, truthfully, if you find yourself weary of crowds, perusing the Grand Trianon is more than enough. It’s a magnificent space in its own right.

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