Explore Versailles in 3D

An immersive tour of the Palace

By Google Arts & Culture

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Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles has held an important place in the cultural and political life of France since it was founded in the mid-17th century. Once a simple hunting lodge, it’s been extended, adapted and renovated over the centuries and is now one of the largest and most ornate buildings in the world. 

Over the years, it’s been home to kings and emperors, acted as a summer residence to the royal family and been the de facto seat of power of the French government. Both the interior and exterior reflect this grand past and the important position the palace holds in the nation’s heart.  

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The Hall of Mirrors (2018/2019) by Palace of Versailles & Google Arts & CulturePalace of Versailles

Hall of Mirrors

One of the most famous parts of the palace, the Hall of Mirrors was built between 1678 and 1684, during the third phase of construction at Versailles. The room is one of the largest in the palace, measuring 73m long by 10.5m wide and 12.3m high. Seventeen windows line one side of the room while on the opposite wall are 17 huge mirrors. These reflect the light that pours in from the windows and give the room its famous name.

The Hall of Mirrors was used as a space to receive dignitaries and host festivities. In 1871, during the concluding part of the Franco-Prussian War, King William I was declared German Emperor in the ornate space. Almost 5 decades later, in 1919, The Treaty of Versailles was signed in the Hall of Mirrors, effectively bringing the German Empire to an end in the very same place where it first began. 

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The royal Chapel (2018/2019) by Palace of Versailles & Google Arts & CulturePalace of Versailles

The Royal Chapel

Measuring 42m long, 24m wide and 40m high, the Royal Chapel is another of Versailles' oversized rooms. Completed in 1710, the chapel has an unbroken vaulted ceiling that’s adorned with frescos by Antoine Coypel, Charles de La Fosse, and Jean Jouvenet. These beautiful artworks depict a number of biblical scenes as well as images from lives of Charlemagne and Louis IX.

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The Royal Opera House (2018/2019) by Palace of Versailles & Google Arts & CulturePalace of Versailles

The Royal Opera House

Originally commissioned in 1682, the building of the Royal Opera House was delayed by wars and a lack of funding for almost a century. Finally, in the second half of the 18th century,  it was decided to rush through the construction of the opera house in order to celebrate the wedding of the future Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. 

To make the build as quick as possible, the opera house was constructed out of wood. This had the added bonus of creating high quality acoustics, perfect for a performance space. The Royal Opera House was inaugurated in 1770. In 1789, at the outbreak of the French Revolution, the king held one last banquet the opera before departing for Paris. 

View of the palace and gardens of Versailles, seen from the avenue de Paris (1668) by Pierre PatelPalace of Versailles

Learn more about the history and architecture of the Palace of Versailles here

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