The Grand Trianon was erected by Jules Hardouin-Mansart in 1687 on the site of the former ‘Porcelain Trianon’. Commissioned by Louis XIV in 1670 to get away from the arduous pomp of life in the court and to pursue his affair with Madame de Montespan, the Grand Trianon is perhaps the most refined architectural ensemble found on the royal estate of Versailles.
The Grand Trianon is a château (palace) situated in the northwestern part of the Domain of Versailles. It was built at the request of King Louis XIV of France (r. 1643–1715), as a retreat for himself and his maîtresse en titre of the time, the Marquise de Montespan (1640–1707), and as a place where he and invited guests could take light meals (collations) away from the strict étiquette of the Court.
Opening onto the courtyard on one side and the gardens on the other, the Peristyle is a sheltered colonnade connecting the two wings of the Grand Trianon. While working on the Grand Trianon in 1687, architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart followed Louis XIV’s instructions to the letter. The king kept a close eye on the progress of the building work, and even personally commissioned the construction of the Peristyle. The Grand Trianon’s colonnade is thus incorrectly known as a ‘Peristyle’, an architectural term which actually describes a row of columns running all the way around a building or courtyard. Although this gallery simply connects the two wings of the Grand Trianon Palace, the name decided upon in Louis XIV’ day has stuck. This great colonnade endows the Grand Trianon with the sense of light and transparency which is its defining feature, allowing for a seamless transition between the courtyard and the gardens.
Versailles — Palais du Grand Trianon – Le Chambre de Napoléon I”
Bedroom of Napoleon I”
Published: A. Papeghin (1900-1931)