HomeGlobal TravelMarie Antoinette’s rooms at Versailles will reopen in June. Right here's what...

    Marie Antoinette’s rooms at Versailles will reopen in June. Right here's what you possibly can see inside

    At Versailles, all the pieces glitters – and it’s most likely gold. 

    Constructed by Louis XIV on the positioning of his father Louis XIII’s searching lodge within the seventeenth century, the Château de Versailles is unquestionably the most effective instance of the astonishing wealth of the French royal household.

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    Welcoming virtually 10 million guests annually, Versailles right this moment is likely one of the most visited monuments on the earth. Amongst its final residents was Austrian archduchess and French queen Marie Antoinette – spouse of Louis XVI, the Solar King’s great-great-great-grandson – whose picture has conquered the hearts, imaginations and cinema screens of generations. 

    Usually painted carrying elaborate wigs and attire of wealthy blue silk, Marie Antoinette, who lived at Versailles between 1770 and 1788, was identified in her day in addition to ours for a mode that was the other of understated. And though her notorious remark concerning bread-starved peasants (“allow them to eat cake”) might be apocryphal, she wasn’t shy about having fun with life’s luxuries. 

    Now, following a painstaking seven-year restoration challenge, her non-public chambers at Versailles will reopen to the general public on June 20. Among the many newly accessible rooms are the Meridian Room (cupboard de la Méridienne), the Library and the Gold Room, in addition to a collection of richly embellished chambers on the higher flooring.

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    A collage of a chair and curtains from Marie-Antoinette’s chambers at the Château de Versailles, Île-de-France, France
    The 18th-century furnishings and furnishings in Marie Antoinette’s non-public chambers have been fastidiously restored © courtesy Château de Versailles

    What’s inside Marie-Antoinette’s chambers?

    The 2 flooring to reopen had been as soon as completely reserved for the queen. She would retreat there following public duties, solely inviting a choose few relations, buddies and their kids to hitch her. 

    “[Marie Antoinette] at all times needed to be updated with the most recent fashions,” says Hélène Delalex, heritage curator for Versailles and the Trianon. “She had a really confident style. Being exacting and impatient, she fully redecorated her chambers roughly each three years.”

    The primary flooring accommodates an unlimited library of gilded bookcases, hidden doorways and shelving items held collectively by an intricate system of cogs and pulleys. Within the Meridian Room – redecorated in celebration of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI’s second baby (however first son and thus inheritor) Louis Joseph, born in 1781 – an ottoman sits within the alcove beneath a ceiling of stained glass. On the second flooring is a billiards room, eating room, boudoir, three bedrooms reserved for her most vital girls’ maids and three rooms for servants. 

    Workers place a bust of France's last queen Marie-Antoinette on a mantlepiece
    Staff place a bust of France’s final queen Marie-Antoinette on a mantelpiece in her former mattress chamber on the Palace of Versailles © François Guillot / AFP through Getty Pictures 

    A restoration challenge worthy of an episode of Queer Eye

    A real bonne vivante, Marie Antoinette was identified for her enjoyment of the humanities. She cherished theater, comedy, music, dance, masked balls and enjoying card video games till the small hours. Solely 14 years previous when she married Louis XVI, she inherited this suite of rooms when she succeeded Marie Leszczyńska, spouse of Louis XV, as queen in 1774.

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    Younger Marie Antoinette was keen to place her personal stamp on the rooms, not least because of an ardent dislike of her predecessor. She started an in depth redecoration challenge worthy of an episode of Queer Eye, which might proceed till she left Versailles for Paris in 1789 in the beginning of the Revolution. (She and her husband could be executed in 1793.)

    Consistently tinkering, she saved up with each development – possible setting lots of them – together with the penchant for all issues historical Egyptian that swept by means of France towards the top of the 18th century. 

    “For a very long time, the second flooring of Marie Antoinette’s chambers was little identified, and little documented,” says Delalex. “This has been an enormous analysis challenge, undertaken utilizing constructing plans and archives from the time. It has helped us to know what every room was used for, and the way they had been embellished.”

    That includes new acquisitions, work and artifacts referring to the time, the boudoir of some of the well-known French girls in historical past is again – and as gilded as ever.



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