Marie-Antoinette's Estate at Versailles
Monday, July 31, 2006
Heather Stimmler-Hall in Outside Paris, Sightseeing

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While the main courtyard at Versailles is under construction (they're re-installing the original wrought-iron gates that were removed), the Domaine de Marie-Antoinette officially re-opened in July after extensive renovations. The Petit Trianon was open before, but now you can also visit the hamlet (hameau) and animal farm, the queen's personal theatre, the English-style gardens with the  grotto and pavilions. My photo of the theatre didn't come out well, but it's definitely worth seeing, even if you can't go in further than the doorway.

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Interior of the French Pavillion (refreshment house).

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Marlborough Tower and a swan in the lake of the Hameau.

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One of the hameau houses, each one with its own garden.

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Farm animals at the hameau.

The Versailles Passport (for entrance to all areas of Versailles) is still €20 (€25 on summer weekends when the garden fountains are on), but the entrance for the château alone is now €13.50, and separate tickets for the gardens is €7, for Marie-Antoinette's Domaine it's €9. So you might as well get a Passport!

http://www.chateauversailles.fr

Advice: give yourself a full day, have lunch between visiting the château and  Marie-Antoinette's Domaine, and save your feet by taking the mini-train!

Update on Friday, August 25, 2006 by Registered CommenterHeather Stimmler-Hall

If you're going to donate blood, might as well do it somewhere fun, right? There's a blood drive this Saturday at Versailles, in the château park (free entry) at the top of the Grand Canal (allée des Matelots) from 11am-5pm. No word on whether this act of generosity will get you into the château itself for free...don't hold your breath. ;)

Article originally appeared on The only authentic insider guide to Paris. (http://www.secretsofparis.com/).
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