The Palace of Versailles is one of the most visited sites in France and in its spectacular halls and gardens, travelers will take a journey through time full of luxury, history and impeccable design.
Built in the 17th century by Louis XIV, in the hunting lodge of his father, Louis XIII, it was occupied from then until the French Revolution by the court, which gradually embellished the palace, in the face of criticism for its excesses.
One of its last and most famous inhabitants was Marie Antoinette, who lived in Versailles between 1770 and 1788, and a few days ago her private apartments were reopened to the public, after seven years of restoration.
According to the official website, the exhibition “One hour with Marie Antoinette” will be available from June 27 to July 9 (it is hoped that it can be extended longer) and must be done an online reservation.
The queen, wife of Louis XVI, had a series of small rooms beyond her state apartments that were reserved for her personal use and for the service of her ladies-in-waiting. In them, she used to withdraw to read, paint, reflect or receive private visits.
Also read: Tips for visiting the Palace of Versailles
The rooms were decorated and modified several times throughout the 18th century, according to the changes in the tastes and needs of their occupants. Despite everything, these rooms, which were arranged around two small interior patios, could not be expanded.
Marie Antoinette gained more space by fitting out new rooms upstairs (such as a billiard room) and even had a miniature summer apartment built on the ground floor, opening onto the Marble Courtyard and containing a bedroom, library, and bathroom. .
The Gold Room stands out, built in 1735 and which currently exhibits furniture and art objects that belonged to the last queen of France, including the chest of drawers, one of Riesener’s best creations, which was delivered to his chamber in Marly, and the “Chinese style” Sèvres vases above, which came from his apartment in Saint-Cloud.
The “Méridienne” room was set aside for Marie Antoinette to rest at noon, hence its name, and after the birth of the heir in 1781, the final decoration of wood panels was added. The motifs were carved by the Rousseau brothers and are repeated in Gouthiére’s bronze on the glazed doors.
Allegorical references celebrate the young prince (the Dauphin), the royal couple (the king is symbolized by the eagle of Jupiter and the queen by the peacock of Juno) and the love of the couple (garlands of roses, bows and arrows). .
Another of the impressive restored rooms is the Library, where the queen had a large collection of books that were transferred to Paris during the Revolution and, for the most part, are now kept in the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
Where: Palace of Versailles, at Place d’Armes, 78000 Versailles, France.
Cost: The ticket for Versailles costs 18 euros and includes the entrance to the Palace, with reservation per hour; temporary exhibitions, the Gallery of Carriages (every weekend), the Sculpture and Molding Gallery (every weekend), the Palace Gardens (except on the days of Great Waters and Musical Gardens) and the Park.
NOTE: Due to the popularity of the exhibition of Marie Antoinette’s apartments, reservations must be made in advance in this link.