André Le Nôtre in perspectives
Exhibition in the Africa rooms
Discover the forthcoming exhibitions of the palace of Versailles
Equestrian Show Academy
A centre for equestrian shows and training, directed by Bartabas
Centre de musique baroque
Missions and program for the musical season 2012 - 2013
Shows at Versailles
Operas, concerts and ballets: discover the programme
Catalogue of the publications of the palace of Versailles
Palace History Gallery
Opening of the Palace History Gallery of Versailles
A year to celebrate Le Nôtre
In 2013, the Palace of Versailles is paying tribute to André Le Nôtre, the creator of the gardens.
Versailles the other visit
A web-documentary about the unknown objects of Versailles.
The Water Theatre grove
A contemporary garden for the Water Theatre grove
Versailles in comic strip form
A co-edition palace of Versailles/Glénat
The Gabriel Chandelier
Installation of the Gabriel Chandelier, first permanent contemporary artwork
The acquisitions of the Palace
The last acquisitions of the palace of Versailles
Archaeology in Versailles
20 years of archaeological excavations in Versailles
Symposiums and workshops
The scientific activities of the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles
Restoration and refurnishing
Restoration and refurnishing works at the palace of Versailles
Restoration of the Belvedere
Restoration of the Belvedere and the Rock in the Estate of Marie-Antoinette.
Official opening of the restored and refurnished Mercury Salon
Restoration of the Latona Fountain
The apartments of Mesdames
Re-opening of the the newly restored and refurnished apartments of Mesdames
The Belvedere featured a series of deteriorations and alterations that made it indispensable and urgent, over a century after the previous repairs in the years 1893-1895, to undertake a general restoration programme involving all its exteriors and interiors.
The restoration of the exteriors of the Belvedere principally involved the cut stone walls after the building was completely faced with scaffolding.
The balustrade of the building was in a state of very advanced deterioration, particular the rear side, and there were serious problems concerning the stability of the balusters. To restore it, all the old balusters had to be removed and almost all of them replaced. The work on the balustrade was accompanied by the total repair of the lead roof.
The façades were cleaned, with some localized repairs to the stonework and the joints, as well as fine re-rigging and the harmonisation of the patinas.
All the flights of steps were likewise restored, with the replacement of slabs showing areas of considerable erosion and the application of water-repellent.
The work on the sculptures concerned the high and low reliefs of the façades as well as the figures of the sphinxes which showed considerable surface deterioration. After a cleaning process using compresses and a biocide treatment, the stonework was reinforced.
The restoration of the interiors of the Belvedere involved firstly the painted decorations on the walls, ceiling and wood panelling in the light of the different alterations that could be identified after prior investigations.
The restoration of the paintings was done in several stages according to the their nature and condition and involved a delicate operation of integration and harmonisation.
The woodwork of the casements was repaired on all the doors and windows. The restoration of the iron and gilt bronze window catches completed these operations.
The polychrome marble floor of the Belvedere was given a complete cleaning to remove all stains. A final treatment involved re-smoothing and waxing.
The restoration of the Rock, built from large stone blocks, after a painstaking examination and diagnosis of its damaged parts, required work on its:
- masonry and cut stone: consolidation and replacement of blocks of stone, with repairs to the joints and the application of harmonisation patinas. To hide the lead piping it was recessed into the walls;
- water supply and fountains: the water features of the Rock were recreated, based on the original design, to produce water pouring in small cascades from several cavities. The water supply for these water features was totally restored by installing new lead pipes and adjustment valves;
- the green spaces and walks: plants offer good ground cover (periwinkle, ground ivy) as well as ferns and rose bushes were planted around the Belvedere and the Rock. The walks around them were also restored.