Discover the 2017-2018 season and book your opera, concert or ballet tickets in Versailles!
The French royal city welcomes you with its castle and gardens! Versailles Royal Opera House is an ideal venue for Classical music.
A little history:
Versailles was a little village born during the ninth century. Located on the route from Paris to Normandy, the city managed to grow economically.
Louis XIII bought forest parcels starting from 1623 before building his hunting pavilion on one of the hilltops. In 1632, Louis XIII acquired Versailles castle. He extended the castle to settle better. Versailles had around 1000 inhabitants at the time.
Louis XIV got interested in Versailles in 1661. As he wished to move away from Paris, Versailles castle seemed like to perfect place for him. He ordered the extension of the palace and its parks to be able to welcome the Court. In 1678, he definitively installed his Court and government in Versailles. The palace became more prestigious. The Hall of Mirrors was finished in 1684.
The development of the city was quick and some construction limitations were set (height of the buildings, …). When the Sun King died, Versailles had 30.000 inhabitants.
Under Louis XV’s and Louis XVI’s reigns, Versailles grew as well. The strict construction rules were abolished and the buildings were built taller. In 1789, Versailles was the third or fourth largest French city with 37000 inhabitants.
Naturally, Versailles was the cradle of the French Revolution. The Estates-General met in Versailles on May 5th, 1789. On October 5th and 6th, the royal family was forced to come back to Paris.
Then the palace was emptied of its valuables and abandoned. Versailles went from 50 000 inhabitants down to 28 000 in 1824.
The city was taken twice by the Prussians. The Germans even declared William I the German emperor in the Hall of Mirrors on January 18th, 1871.
Versailles became the administrative centre of the Yvelines department in 1965.
Nowadays, Versailles is a chic Paris suburb, overlooked by the Palace of Versailles.
What to do in Versailles?
Visit the Versailles Castle and follow the French Kings’ footsteps! Admire the architecture, the furniture and the palace’s rich decorations.
Get into the royal gardens, walk around and discover all the paths. Go by daytime, but also nighttime if you visit the palace in summer! The “Fountain Night shows” are worth the detour during the summer… especially the fireworks!
You should also visit the Estate of Trianon with Marie-Antoinette’s Hamlet, the Petit and Grand Trianons and the gardens!
Versailles, a true musical pleasure
Versailles is THE royal city, but also a musical city! What would a royal city be without a royal opera? When the palace’s northern wing was built, Louis XIV wanted to build an opera. This project was dropped due to the lack of funds.
In prevision of his grandchildren (including Louis XVI), Louis XV demanded the project to be continued in 1768. The Opéra Royal de Versailles was inaugurated for Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI’s wedding on May 16th, 1770.
The venue was restored to its original state in 2009.
The venue’s seating plan is very different from other venues’ plans: the auditorium is oval. This enables great acoustics and view of the stage. Moreover, the venue is fully made of wood, which guarantees great acoustics. The Royal opera can welcome around 700 spectators.
Every year, the opera offers a beautiful opera and ballet season in Versailles as well as a summer Festival not to be missed.
The Royal Chapel was blessed on June 5th, 1710, it has two floors so the King may attend to the ceremonies from his balcony.
Gorgeous on the outside, the chapel shines even brighter on the inside! The paintings of the ceiling are beautiful… so is the organ!
Nowadays the Royal Chapel welcomes concerts throughout the season!