French democracy was founded on the indoor tennis court of Versailles Palace. And you can now live your Marie Antoinette dreams by sleeping in the 18th-century Chateau de Versailles. So after two years of travel uncertainty, the Palace of Versailles has definitely reopened for visitors. Here’s everything you need to know.
Exploring the Restored Royal Tennis Court
History whispers from the walls of the Jeu de Paume court. During the French Revolution, the self-declared National Assembly locked themselves in this indoor tennis court and vowed to stay until they wrote the French constitution.
Under Napoleon it became a studio for artists, later the Museum of the French Revolution. Then is started sinking into a marsh and was heavily damaged by high humidity. On April 1st it reopened after a €1.8m renovation.
It needed structural reinforcements. Olivier Merson’s painting The Tennis Court Oath has been cleaned. Motifs and statues brought back to their previous splendour. This is where modern French history started and a guide will tell you all about it.
Fully Experiencing the Palace of Versailles
The royal tennis court is not the most opulent place to visit at Versailles. That’s maybe the Hall of Mirrors – you may recognise it from the season 2 finale of Emily in Paris (read all the top Emily filming locations here). Or it could be the gardens, the royal opera, or another dozen places inside the palace.
Want a Romantic Holiday in France?
Actually, with so much to explore at the Palace of Versailles, why do people only visit for half a day on a trip from Paris? Now you can sleep within Chateau de Versailles!
Stay inside the chateau you enjoy exclusive access to areas that are usually closed to the public, like gardens, halls and apartments. You can also tour the Trianon and Queen’s Hamlet in private, before the public arrives. Even better, you enjoy a private tour of the palace in the evening, after all the visitors have departed.
There’s a New Hotel Within Versailles
Last year, French hotel company Airelles opened Airelles Chateau de Versailles, Le Grand Controle, a 14-room hotel inside the famous royal residence (we also love Airelles Courchevel). It has 21st-century luxuries and dining by Alain Ducasse, but a design faithful to the 18th-century reign of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
Period furniture, artwork, fabrics, chandeliers, artefacts – in this hotel you will sleep inside history, immersed in the 18th century. It really is a stay fit for royalty. You can even do a Marie Antoinette-themed costume fitting. And you will have unlimited access to the famous Versailles gardens.
Your Versailles Experience
How about living like a king and queen for a day or two in Versailles, then exploring Paris for 24 hours? There are cheaper hotels in Versailles, but if you love history there’s nothing to beat Airelles Chateau de Versailles, because of the exclusive access to everything at Versailles.
So what will you do in Paris? That’s a whole other conversation! Speak to us about the best hotels, like the new Bulgari Paris, and experiences around gastronomy, shopping and jewellery. We’ll plan the most romantic of getaways for you, in Paris and Versailles. Ask us to surprise you.