The Versailles Chapel, the masterpiece of Louis XIV

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The Versailles Chapel is considered the pinnacle of Louis XIV’s achievements at Versailles.

Versailles chapel
Versailles Chapel, copyright Château de Versailles

The fifth Chapel

Completed at the end of the reign of Louis XIV, in 1710, the Versailles Chapel is the fifth and last of the chapels that have succeeded one another in the castle since Louis XIII. Jules Hardouin-Mansart proposed the plan to the King in 1699 but the First Architect to the King died in 1708 and it was his brother-in-law Robert De Cotte who completed the work. Dedicated to Saint Louis, patron saint of the King and ancestor of the royal house, the Chapel, by its general appearance, echoes the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris which he had founded. The interior elevation, in its distribution in two levels, resumes the usual distribution of the palatine chapels, but its architectural treatment, with the powerful colonnade which reigns on the first floor, is ostensibly inspired by Antiquity.

The Wedding of Marie-antoinette and King Louis XVI

The king only went down there for the great religious holidays where he took communion, for the ceremonies of the Order of the Holy Spirit, for the baptisms and for the marriages of the Children of France which were celebrated there from 1710 to 1789. It is here that the future King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette united their destinies in 1770. The musical season that takes place there today offers more than 40 concerts of sacred music throughout the year. The greatest composers, Dixit Dominus or Messiah by Handel, Oratorio, Magnificat, Cantatas or Passion by Bach, Stabat Mater by Pergolesi or Te Deum by Charpentier still resonate under the vaults and gilding of this architectural gem ! The Royal Chapel is, along with the Hall of Mirrors, one of the most visited places in France. More than 7 million visitors flock there each year.

Access and contacts :

Château de Versailles

78000 Versailles • 01 30 83 78 89

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