14 September 2023 • Press release

Opening of the Gallery of the history of the Palace

From September 15, 2023

The Palace of Versailles is opening a new Gallery of the history of the Palace in honour of its 400th anniversary. This Gallery aims to provide visitors with insight into the creation, transformation and upheavals that have marked the history of the Palace, from its beginnings as a modest hunting lodge built by Louis XIII in 1623 up to the current day. The itinerary will feature more than 120 works of art from the Versailles collections – some of which have never before been displayed – complemented by a digital and educational programme.

THE GALLErY OF HISTOrY, rEDESIGNED

During their exploration of Versailles, visitors pass without interruption from King Louis XIV’s State Apartment to Marie-Antoinette’s Private Chambers to the historical galleries dating from Louis Philippe, thus moving through eras, fashions and styles. The Gallery of the History of the Palace was created to help visitors understand the history of Versailles and its successive layout and decoration. Once the apartments of key personalities of the Court, since 2011 this succession of 11 rooms on the ground floor of the North Wing has been conceived as an introduction to one’s visit to the Palace. 

Organised chrono-thematically, this new arrangement features over a hundred artworks from the Versailles collection. Portraits of kings, queens and artists reveal the faces of those who shaped Versailles over the centuries. Paintings depicting the Palace and Gardens of Versailles illustrate the architectural transformations of the estate, while the vestiges of the Versailles of yesteryear rekindle memories of mythical places lost to history, such as the Ambassadors’ Staircase, Louis XIV’s Bath Chamber and Marie Leszczynska’s Chinese Chamber.

The gallery also shows what became of Versailles after the French Revolution, from the fall of the Ancien Régime to its transformation into a museum of French history by Louis Philippe in the 19th century, not to mention its political role as a venue for extravagant festivities and contemporary artistic creation.

To bring to light these different eras and the multiple facets of the Palace, a wealth of digital and educational content is available throughout the tour – 3D replicas, aerial views of the estate from drone-mounted cameras, archival videos and tactile displays – to transport visitors through four centuries of the history of the Palace of Versailles and France itself.

Chief Curator: Laurent Salomé, Director of the National Museum of the Palaces of Versailles and Trianon

 

PrACTICAL INFOrMATION

Sneak preview opening for European Heritage Days: evening visits on 15 September and daytime access on 16 and 17 September 2023.
Free admission.

As of 21 September 2023, the Palace of Versailles History Gallery will be accessible to all visitors with a Passport or Palace ticket.

More information at chateauversailles.fr

 

Press release

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Photos

The Gallery of the history of the Palace

© Château de Versailles / S. Giles

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The Gallery of the history of the Palace

© Château de Versailles / S. Giles

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The Gallery of the history of the Palace

© Château de Versailles / S. Giles

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Louis XIII, roi de France (1601-1643), Justus Van Egmont

© Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN © Christophe Fouin png

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Louis XIV à cheval couronné par la Victoire devant le siège de Namur, Pierre Mignard

© RMN-GP (Château de Versailles)

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Portrait équestre de Louis XV, roi de France, Charles Parrocel

© Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN © Christophe Fouin png

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Louis XVI, roi de France (1754-1793), Louis-Joseph-Siffrède Duplessis

© Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN © Jean-Marc Manaï png

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Louis-Philippe Ier, roi des Français (1773-1850), Franz-Xaver Winterhalter

© Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN © C. Fouin

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Vue du château et des jardins de Versailles, prise de l'avenue de Paris, 1668, Pierre Patel

© Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN © C. Fouin

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Zéphir et Flore, Philippe Bertrand, René Frémin, Jacques Bousseau

© Château de Versailles / C. Fouin

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Marie-Antoinette en vestale, attribué à Charles Le Clercq

© Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN © C. Fouin

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Le bosquet des Bains d'Apollon, Hubert Robert

© Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN © C. Fouin

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Louis-Philippe visitant la galerie des Batailles, 1837, François-Joseph Heim

© Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN © C. Fouin

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Pierre de Nolhac (1859-1936), Henri Girauld de Nolhac

© Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN © C. Fouin

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Fête de nuit, Gaston La Touche

© Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN © C. Fouin

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