The Grand Trianon was originally called the Marble Trianon in reference to the pilasters that give its façades their rhythm. A colonnaded portico piercing the palace through the middle linked the courtyard and gardens, opening it up to the outdoors: that was the new building’s main idea. Wrongly called a peristyle – the name dates back to the Louis XIV period – the portico provides the Grand Trianon with the transparency that makes it so original: visitors walk from the courtyard into the gardens without noticing.
In 1810 Napoleon had the peristyle glazed on both sides to facilitate communication between his apartment and that of the empress. This alteration formed the vestibule, where a military tribunal presided by the duc d’Aumale tried Marshal Bazaine from October to December 1873. The glazing was removed in 1910.