Looking to do something a bit different on your next weekend outing? Look no further! Three amazing spaces at the Palace of Versailles will be opened up specially for visitors to discover this summer – for free. The Gallery of Coaches, the Sculptures and Mouldings Gallery and the Royal Tennis Court are open every weekend from May to October, between 12.30 and 6.30 pm, and promise an unforgettable experience.
If you’re looking for something original to do on your next weekend outing, why not discover some of the Palace of Versailles’ hidden treasures? On this exclusive tour, you can explore three areas that have been opened up specially to enable you to discover some of the lesser-known aspects of French history.
The Gallery of Coaches
The Gallery of Coaches is open every weekend from May to October, between 12.30 and 6.30 pm.
Allow 1 hour
Locate the Gallery of Coaches
Enter the Gallery of Coaches on the ground floor and pick up a map at the entrance – or download the online version. The Gallery of Coaches was built during Louis XIV’s reign and still looks as it did then, with its oak panelling, hay racks and mangers.
Continue on and then stop in front of the sedan chairs and children’s carriages.
Although most of the carriages of the old French Court disappeared during the Revolution, the collection does feature some small carriages used by Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette’s children for outings. In other rooms, you’ll discover what the members of Court used to get around the Palace and into the city – four sedan chairs dating from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Turn around and admire the seven ceremonial Berlin carriages ordered in 1810 for the marriage of Napoleon I and the Empress Marie-Louise.
Then head towards the back of the gallery, where you’ll already be able to spot the spectacular carriage used for Charles X’s coronation.
The Sculptures and Mouldings Gallery
The Sculptures and Mouldings Gallery houses and showcases a unique collection of antique mouldings. Recently opened to the public, this gallery takes you on a fascinating journey through classical art and its influence on artistic creation at Versailles.
The Sculptures and Mouldings Gallery is open every weekend from May to October, between 12.30 and 6.30 pm.
Allow 1 hour
Locate the Sculptures and Mouldings Gallery
This collection of mouldings based on classical works is known for its 17th and 18th century versions of ancient mouldings and a fine collection of Greek and Roman architecture. The most precious gems among these copies include those of the corner of the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens, one of Rome’s Quirinal Dioscuri, and the Farnese Hercules, the original of which is now preserved in the Naples National Archaeological Museum.
The Royal Tennis Court
The Royal Tennis Court is an historic and deeply emotional place. This room is where the famous Royal Tennis Court Oath was declared, on 20 June 1789 – an event that marked the beginning of the French Revolution. Visiting this faithfully restored room will whisk you right back to the atmosphere of this turbulent time in French history.
The Royal Tennis Court is open for guided tours, and accessible for free tours every weekend from 2 pm to 6:30 pm (last admission 5:45 pm).
Allow 30 minutes
Locate the Royal Tennis Court
The Royal Tennis Court underwent further restoration between 2021 and 2022.