Idyllic countryside embossed with mountains
Châlet des Alpes (Châlet of the Alps), The Playground
In 1787, a Châlet was built here with a playground in front of it. The idealisation of living simply in nature was very much part of the Rococo period. Both the Châlet and the playground were destroyed in 1793.
The Ermitage was opened in 1785. Two years before the French queen had started building an idealised village with farm and mill in the gardens of her estate at Petit Trianon, which she had remodelled in the new English fashion. These kinds of decorative villages were in fashion in this period, and so it came to be that the Ermitage too added this alpine expression of village life in 1787: a Châlet together with a fountain, and indoors a concert room and dining hall. The guests were served with fresh cows milk, and on the wall inside hung a halberd which called to mind the Battle of Sempach in 1386. The guests could experience a lightness of being on the nearby crescent shaped playground, which had a wooden seesaw, a swing, a bowling lane and a dance floor.