Bois de Boulogne
The château de Bagatelle, in reality, a pleasure pavilion once called a folly (or folie in French), turned into an extremely costly palace built in two months, as a bet between the Comte d'Artois and his sister-in-law,
Queen Marie-Antoinette. This gave rise to the French expression: coûter
une bagatelle – (cost an arm and a leg)...
It was indeed a youthful madness too since the youngest brother of Louis XVI was only twenty years
old when he built Bagatelle on one of his properties. Things did not take long ... Bellanger, the architect, drew the plans in one night. More than 800
people worked day and night, from September 21st to November 26th, 1777. The best decorators and painters were commissioned: Hubert Robert, Fragonard, Greuze, ...
This folly, mainly for pleasure, was a small and luxurious house, quite a foolishness indeed. But, it was
also in the middle of gardens, which is quite the initial meaning of a folly, a country retreat shaded by leaves (foleia in Latin).