Saturday, 5 September 2015

Vive les mariés !

Citroën Traction Avant Versailles town hall mairie
Wedding season is slowly going to come to an end... This was a Citroën Traction Avant last Saturday in front of the town hall! Stylish or what?

C'était samedi dernier devant l'hôtel de ville !

Friday, 4 September 2015

Ketchup, moutarde, huile pimentée...

Café Avenue de Paris in Versailles
Strange weather lately. Last week we went from stormy (here) to 15°C (59°F) and back up to 30°C (86°F) in two days... This was last Saturday on Avenue de Paris, it was hot!

Bizarres les caprices du temps... La semaine dernière, nous sommes passés de la tempête (c'était ici) à 15°C puis à 30°C ! Ça, c'était samedi dernier avenue de Paris, chaud !

Thursday, 3 September 2015

La petite maison à colombages, suite

Graffiti Parc du Cénacle Versailles
VDP is sure you remember the sweet little half-timbered house in the park of the Spiritual Centre of the Sisters of the Cenacle. If not, click here. Well, this is what it looks like inside...

Vous vous souvenez de la jolie petite structure à colombages que VDP vous montrait dans le parc du Centre Spirituel des Sœurs du Cénacle ? Si besoin est, cliquez ici pour vous rafraîchir la mémoire. Eh bien, ça, c'est l'intérieur...
Graffiti Parc du Cénacle Versailles
Graffiti Parc du Cénacle Versailles

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

September City Daily Photo Theme Day: Curiosity

Parc aux cerfs Versailles
Today is the tercentenary of Louis XIVth's passing, at 8:05 this morning, at the palace, a few days before his 77th birthday. The palace's website dedicated to this event is pretty cool, check it out here!
It's also back to school day in France. And of course, it's the first of the month which means Theme Day in the City Daily Photo blogging community! You would have thought that VDP would easily find a curiosity in Versailles... Well nope, not after well over six years of blogging! You'd have had to pay her good money (lots of Swiss Francs for instance) to go to the palace in August and so she came up with a historical curiosity, which she photographed on this stormy August Monday. Saint-Louis neighbourhood, which you often see on this blog, was entirely built on what used to be the 'parc aux cerfs', literally the 'stag park'. It was a clearing that provided game for the royal court and aristocracy during the reigns of Louis XIII and Louis XIV. In Versailles, it is also said that there was a mansion where, at the instigation of his mistress Madame de Pompadour, king Louis XV hid some (very) young subjects of his romantic liaisons... You might want to read more about this story by clicking here. Anyway, nowadays, all that remains is this plaque below (hotel as in old French for private residence, not a place to stay at), and the building on Anjou Street. It is also said there was a tunnel somewhere, behind the door on the right of the second photo... Happy September everyone! All the posts of the community are this way!

En ce jour de rentrée scolaire et de tricentenaire de la mort de Louis XIV (voir le site du château, dédié à l'événement, très intéressant ici), nous entamons un nouveau mois. Le thème du premier du mois dans la communauté des blogueurs City Daily Photo, c'est "curiosité". Dur, dur de trouver des curiosités à Versailles qui n'ont pas déjà été publiées sur ce blog  par votre dévouée servitrice, depuis largement plus de six ans qu'il existe ! Au demeurant, il aurait fallu la payer très, très cher pour qu'elle se rendre au château en plein mois d'août (!) et elle eut donc l'idée d'aller en quête de l'hôtel du Parc aux Cerfs, rue d'Anjou, qu'elle photographia un lundi tempétueux d'août. Tout le quartier Saint-Louis est construit sur l'ancienne réserve de chasse de Louis XIII et Louis XIV. Madame de Pompadour, favorite de Louis XV, après la fin de sa liaison physique avec le roi en 1752, installa, dans une demeure de ce quartier, des femmes, souvent très jeunes, qui y étaient entretenues pour satisfaire la concupiscence du roi. Ce qu'il en reste de nos jours ? Pas grand chose, si ce n'est cet hôtel et cette plaque. Il y aurait un souterrain, dit-on, passé la première porte à droite de la deuxième photo ci-dessous... Pour voir les interprétations du thème dans des villes du monde entier, c'est par là ! Bonne rentrée aux plus jeunes et bon mois de septembre à tous !
Hôtel du Parc aux Cerfs Versailles rue d'Anjou
Hôtel du Parc aux Cerfs Versailles rue d'Anjou
Hôtel du Parc aux Cerfs Versailles rue d'Anjou
Oh and lest VDP forgets, it is said that the delightful model for François Boucher's no less delightful painting, Resting Girl, was Marie-Louise O'Murphy, one of the residents of the Parc aux Cerfs... The information as to the identity of the young girl seems to have been given by no less than Casanova himself!

Ah et avant que VDP n'oublie, il semblerait, selon Casanova, que le délicieux modèle de la non moins délicieuse œuvre de François Boucher soit Marie-Louise O'Murphy, l'une des résidentes du Parc aux Cerfs...
François Boucher Louise O'Murphy
There are two versions painted by Boucher. Which one do you prefer?

Laquelle des deux versions de Boucher préférez-vous ?
François Boucher Louise O'Murphy

Monday, 31 August 2015

Le Transilien

Versailles pont rue du Parc de Clagny Transilien Train
Yesterday the bridge, today the view from the bridge! Train arriving at Rive Droite station from Paris, this is the end of the line!

Hier le pont, aujourd'hui la vue depuis le pont ! Le Transilien arrive à Rive Droite !
Versailles Rive Droite Transilien Train

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Le pont blanc

White bridge Versailles pont rue du Parc de Clagny
You have seen this bridge over Rive Droite (Right Bank) railway tracks on VDP before, albeit not so nicely white, it was here and seen from the other side of Parc de Clagny street...

Vous aviez déjà vu le pont de la rue du Parc de Clagny, qui enjambe la voie ferrée de Rive Droite, c'était ici mais de l'autre côté et le pont a été repeint depuis !
White bridge Versailles pont rue du Parc de Clagny

Saturday, 29 August 2015

En août aux jardins familiaux de Jussieu

Allotments Versailles jardins familiaux Jussieu
Mid-August scenes of the Jussieu neighbourhood allotments which you had seen here in winter!

Vous les aviez vus en hiver ici.
Allotments Versailles jardins familiaux Jussieu
Allotments Versailles jardins familiaux Jussieu

Friday, 28 August 2015

Lundi, dans la soirée

Tempête avenue de Paris à Versailles storm
While we've had a hot summer since the beginning of June, this week started out stormy, windy, rainy and... well this was early evening on Avenue de Paris... As for yesterday, it was a November like monsoon day!

C'était lundi, avenue de Paris... un peu la tempête... Ne parlons même pas de la mousson de novembre d'hier !
Tempête avenue de Paris à Versailles storm
Tempête avenue de Paris à Versailles storm

Thursday, 27 August 2015


Sofia Coppola Marie-Antoinette Trianon Palace Versailles
The main movie of the open air cinema evening was Sofia Coppola's "Marie-Antoinette" which (blush) VDP had never seen. It had been years since VDP has watched a dubbed film, that was strange! VDP adored it, which is surprising considering that she usually dislikes movies that have little historical substance. Part of VDP agrees with Jean-Luc Douin who in Le Monde described 'Marie-Antoinette' as a ‘kitsch and roc(k)oco’ film which ‘deliberately displays its anachronisms’, and additionally as a ‘sensory film’ that was ‘dreamt by a Miss California’ and ‘orchestrated around the Du Barry or Madame de Polignac playground gossip’. Part of VDP scrambled to search for the history of macarons, which did NOT exist in the ‘Ladurée’ form seen here until the XIXth century, though of course the delightful little things certainly owe this movie a great deal, having since rocketed to stardom and must-have status all over the world. Part of VDP is happy that the great masses should now know (with certainty because Kirsten Dunst herself said it!) that the queen most probably never actually uttered the words ‘let them eat cake’ (so please, at least when commenting on this blog, stop saying that she did, you will earn VDP's eternal gratitude!). While VDP believes that the film gives a tiny insight into the hornet’s nest that was the French royal court, the ‘sweet tooth depravity’ shown here is miles from who Marie-Antoinette probably was in reality, a woman who was likely far less stupid and frivolous than usually portrayed. Marie-Antoinette is a very touchy subject in this country, where she is still widely hated (despite the fact that it is mainly the support of the American war of Independence that ruined France, not her follies that merely constituted contributing factors. What's more, such follies weren't unusual -probably even standard- in a world of monarchies which we judge with post-revolutionary, XXIst century eyes)…
And yet VDP loved it! The explosion of colours, the lavish costumes (full of anachronisms too but hell…), the ‘Converse All Stars’ feet scene, the soundtrack (ahhhh Adam and the Ants during the love scene with count de Fersen – oops pity she probably never did actually have sex with Fersen back then)… She loved seeing Versailles and the no less beautiful château of Vaux Le Vicomte –the castle without which there might not have been Versailles- where some scenes were shot. VDP thoroughly enjoyed herself but wishes that people who visit Versailles and dream of Kirsten Dunst wouldn’t believe that this is an accurate portrayal of Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna, archduchess of Austria and queen of France (and trust VDP, a lot do, the conversations you sometimes overhear when at the palace are too funny). Okay, before you ask, no VDP isn’t a monarchist and sorry for the long post…

Le film projeté à la séance inaugurale des Yvelines font leur cinéma cette année, c'était Marie-Antoinette de Sofia Coppola que VDP n'avait encore jamais vu. VDP a beaucoup aimé le côté décalé du film (la scène des Converse All Star l'a éclatée) ce qui est étonnant puisqu'elle aime bien, en général, les films qui collent plus à la réalité historique et trouve dommage que tant de touristes qui se pressent à Versailles pensent désormais que Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna, archiduchesse d'Autriche et reine de France était Kirsten Dunst... Ah là là, les conversations que l'on surprend parfois en traînant au château !
Sofia Coppola Marie-Antoinette Trianon Palace Versailles
Sofia Coppola Marie-Antoinette Trianon Palace Versailles