Friday, April 30, 2010

Marie Antionette's Hamlet

While in Paris last week, I had one simple destination on my lists of things to do: Marie Antionette's Hamlet at Versailles.

I have been to Versailles twice before, and while there two summers ago, I completely fell in love with the grounds. The interior is quite lovely, but the gardens are what I truly enjoy. I love imagining what it would have been like to be a member of Marie Antionette's court. I would frolick among the orangeries or the maze of trees. I might have even been daring enough to jump into the fountains! The grounds are endless, and while I was exploring them on my last visit, I was unable to go as far as I wished due to time constraints.

While in college I took and Art History course on the history of garden design. We spent a lengthy amount of time on Versailles and its grounds. What I found most fascinating was Marie Anyionette's Hamlet, which was an authentic french countryside village that she had built on the grounds for her own personal enjoyment. She and her court would dress in authentic garb and have lavish parties in the hamlet. She found great pleasure in playing dress up and pretending to be "poor".

This is the spot I wanted to see. I was a woman on a mission. Once we arrived at the complex, I grabbed a map and hoofed it to the hamlet. It was quite far away from the main entrance, and after about 40 minutes of walking at the pace of a jog, I was finally there (take that woman at informational services who said I'd never make in time before closing, ha!). It was everything I had hoped it would be. It felt like the original Epcot in DisneyWorld. She had managed to have a completely authentic village built to her liking. It was AMAZING. Every building was more charming than the next, the creek that wound through the village babbled pleasantly, and the working farm filled with animals was such a change of pace from busy downtown Paris.

I LOVED this place. If I lived in Paris, I would go to Versailles every weekend with a baguette, bottle of wine, and wheel of cheese in hand.

The above image is a drawing I did of one of the homes in the Hamlet. It is going to be exhibited in a show here in France at the end of the quarter. Keep your fingers crossed that it sells! I need to earn back some of the cash I spent on vintage garb in Paris!


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Lis is a professional illustrator based out of Savannah, GA. She is a self described fashionista, former sorority girl, and avid celebrity gossip follower whose penchant for all things feminine and girly is reflected in her work. For more info on the artist, please visit, and to contact Lis, feel free to email her at


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