The Petit Trianon is a small bijou palace built by Gabriel, who was also the architect of Paris’ Place de la Concorde. It is located more than a mile away from the Château de Versailles but less than half a mile away from the Grand Trianon.
The château was designed for King Louis XV’s mistress, Madame de Pompadour who died four years after its completion. Subsequently, the château became a retreat for the king and his consorts to escape the rigid etiquette and duties at Versailles. The humble and casual royal residence resembled the Neoclassical style of the 1760s in contrast with the Rococo style buildings at Versailles. When Louis XVI ascended the throne, he gave the Petit Trianon over to his Queen, Marie Antoinette. She subsequently used it as her retreat from the formality of court life and restricted everyone from entering the property except for her inner circle, which included the Princess de Lambelle and the Duchesse de Polignac.
There have been reports from visitors of the Petit Trianon of a paranormal time slip experience there. Various people have reported suddenly experiencing a sudden gloom and a feeling of immense depression upon visiting the grounds. They also report a mysterious changing of the grounds as they were back in the late 18th century, and the spotting of people passing by in old fashioned attire – believed to be the members of Marie Antoinette’s court. They believe the gloomy spirit that descended upon them must have been the ghost of Marie Antoinette, who was known to have been unhappy with her life in the French court, longing for the days of her childhood back in Austria. Whether these reports of a transport back in time are legitimate is uncertain, but it definitely adds an element of intrigue to the Petit Trianon.