- Grand Trianon
The Grand Trianon was built in
Versaillesby Louis XIV, and it was designed to be a place where he and his close family could escape from the hectic life of court at the Château of Versailles.
1670 Louis XIVpurchased Trianon, a hamlet on the outskirts of Versailles. He built a palace called the Porcelain Trianon on his purchased land, and commissioned the architect Louis Le Vauto design it. Louis Le Vauconstructed the façadeout of porcelain tiles from Delft, which is where the palace got its name from. Louis XIVbuilt the Porcelain Trianonso he could spend time alone in privacy with his mistress Françoise-Athénaïs de Mortemart, the Marquise de Montespan, who Louis XIVliked very much.
1687 Louis XIVrealised that the porcelain was not strong enough to resist bad weather. He commissioned the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart to demolish it and build another palace on the same site of a better practicality. Hardouin-Mansart's finished design was twice the size of the Porcelain Trianon and its principle material was marble (very strong), which led to Louis XIVcalling it the Trianon de Marbre (The Marble Trianon). Louis XIValso had another retreat from court life called the Château de Marlyand the only way to visit the king at Marly was to receive an invitation which was considered a great honour.
After the demise of the French Monarchy, the Grand Trianon (called so after the
Petit Trianonwas built nearby by Louis XVin the 1760s) was occupied by Napoleon from 1805to 1815, who refurnished it in the Empire Style. It is now a popular tourist site at Versailles, and is used by the French President when entertaining foreign officials.
It was also used as a place of negotiating and signing treaties after World War I. In Hungary the word "Trianon" is still used as a symbol of one of their worst national disasters as the country lost two thirds of its territory in the treaty signed here.
Subsidiary structures of the Palace of Versailles
Treaty of Trianon
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.