From 30 November 2018 to 6 January 2019, the Palace of Versailles and ESSEC Business School presented “Virtually Versailles” in Singapore. It is the Palace of Versailles’ first completely digital exhibition, offering an immersive tour of Versailles using the most innovative digital tools.
A digital discovery
In 2016, the Palace of Versailles and ESSEC Business School founded a partnership to transmit the French art of living, as well as its unparalleled savoir-faire, heritage, and creation. The goal is also to expand their reach around the world, particularly in Asia, which sends more than 1.5 million visitors to the Palace of Versailles each year.
As part of this mission and the France-Singapore Year of Innovation, the Palace of Versailles and ESSEC Business School have created an unprecedented event in Singapore: a digital exploration of the Estate of Versailles and its history at the Ion Orchard shopping centre. The event tooke place from 30 November 2018 to 6 January 2019.
During this event, ESSEC Business School offered two lectures on the theme of heritage, innovation, and attractivity:
- "Managing Heritage & Exceptional Savoir-faire in a Modern and Digital Era" - on 30 November 2018, Ion Sky
- "Heritage and Innovation" - 11 December 2018, Ion Sky
A digital exploration in Singapore
Located in the heart of the city of Singapore, Ion Orchard is one of the largest shopping centres in the city-state, with more than 57 million visitors per year. The Virtually Versailles exploration was presented in its exhibition spaces: Ion Art, a 520-m2 space where most of the exhibition will occur, and Ion Sky, on the 56th floor, which boasts a 360-degree view of the city of Singapore. Ion Sky served as the culmination of the experience with a projection of the most important immersive film on the Palace of Versailles.
The most innovative techniques
This unprecedented experience was made possible thanks to the patronage of the Michelin Corporate Foundation. It uses the most innovative digital technologies: 360° video, an immersive and interactive visit, 3D models, and virtual reality experiences thanks to technological partnerships with the Fondation Orange and Google Cultural Institute.
Designed as a virtual tour of the Palace and Estate of Versailles, this experience immersed an unfamiliar public in the Versailles universe through its most iconic spaces and key moments in its history.
A travelling exploration
After launching in Singapore, this digital experience will travel to the biggest capitals in Asia.
Introduction: Versailles through the ages
As an introduction, 3D reconstructions shows the construction of the Palace of Versailles and its transformation from Louis XIII’s hunting lodge in the 17th century to the site where the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919.
Visitors are greeted by the voice of Louis XIV. At the initiative of the agency BETC and as part of the Versailles TV series on CANAL+, scientists from the agency Voxygen and historians from the Palace of Versailles worked together to re-create the voice of Louis XIV. By studying his health records and correspondence, they were able to synthesise the Sun King’s voice, allowing him to express himself 300 years after his death.
Master Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian created “Le Plaisir Royal” exclusively for the Palace of Versailles. This unique perfume based on the King Louis XIV’s favourite flower features fabulous orange blossom notes that complement this immersive experience with a sensory component that is rarely included in cultural events.
The influence of Versailles
A gallery of interactive images reveals the secrets of some of the paintings in Versailles’ collections, which boasts more than 6,000 paintings. Some of them have been digitized using gigapixel technology, offering an unparalleled level of detail.
Nature and Versailles
The Estate of Versailles boasts one of the most beautiful outdoor sculpture museums in the world. Visitors are able to ride on connected bicycles to take an interactive and dynamic tour of the most famous parts of the Gardens and Park of Versailles, such as the Grande Perspective, the Queen’s Hamlet, and the Grand Trianon’s French gardens.
Intimate Versailles in the Estate of Trianon
An interactive illustrated and animated wall describes the construction of the Grand Trianon, a residence beloved by King Louis XIV and his successors. This section also shows other intimate spaces created for the royals to spend time with their inner circle: the Petit Trianon and then the Queen's Hamlet, built at the request of Marie Antoinette to escape court etiquette.
The splendours of Versailles
The section offers a spectacular 360-degree view of Versailles’ most iconic areas. Visitors experience full immersion in the most famous rooms of the royal residence, such as the King’s Chambers, the Hall of Mirrors, the Royal Opera House, and the Gallery of Battles.
Innovation at Versailles
The 56th floor of the Ion Sky tower featured the culmination of the “Virtually Versailles” experience: a 360-degree film showing a day in Versailles. Perspectives, interior views, performances, fountains, and fireworks were filmed in ultra-high definition for this last panoramic projection on more than 30 screens.
Visitors are also able to enjoy two virtual reality experiences developed through the Palace of Versailles’ partnerships with the Fondation Orange and Google Cultural Institute. They each don a helmet to walk alone through the State Apartments and the Hall of Mirrors. They plunge into the heart of 17th and 18th-century Versailles by observing the ceremony in honour of the visit by the Siamese Embassy to France in 1686 and participating in one of the most famous parties in Versailles history: the Yew Ball held in February 1745.
Exhibition at the Ion Orchard:
Ion Art Gallery (Level 4 next to Lobby A)
Ion Sky (Level 56)
2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801
The Palace of Versailles is offering a virtual reality experience with the application “Experience Versailles”, created with Fondation Orange, which allows visitors to relive the visit by the Ambassador of Siam to the Court of Louis XIV in 1686 and the Yew Ball held by Louis XV.
The European Royal Residences Association, including the Palace of Versailles and in partnership with Google Cultural Institute, is holding a virtual exhibition titled "A Place at the Royal Table" as part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage.
To be a patron of Versailles is to become part of this chain that links together the history of yesterday, today and tomorrow, passing down to the future generations the living memory of the history that has shaped us, maintaining the knowledge of rare craftsmanship.More information