Saturday, 23 March 2013

The Chapel

The Chapel - as it stands today - was built in 1710 which meant that the King at the time, Louis XIV, could only use it for five years until his death. Before that the King used a chapel that was reached through the Hercules salon but it was too small for all the courtiers and royalties that wanted to attend Mass with the King. The architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart created the main drawings for the chapel but he never got to see the completion of his masterpiece since he died two years before its completion. After his death his brother-in-law (Robert de Cotte) took over and finished the chapel.

The chapel is dedicated to the Catholic saint Saint Louis (conveniently with the same name as the King) who was the Patron Saint of the House of Bourbon. The tribune is reached through a vestibule called "salon de la chapelle" which was built at the same time as the chapel itself. The "salon de la chapelle" is built in white stones and the main focus of the room is the bas-relief "Louis XIV Crossing the Rhine" by Nicolas and Guillaume Coustou.

The floor is inlaid with marble (polychromatic) - the floor right before the altar is inlaid with the letter "L" for King Louis XIV and the Saint Louis. The decoration in itself consists of paintings from the Old and the New Testament - also the sculptures follow this pattern. The impressive ceiling is divided between different artworks and different artists:
The ceiling of the nave is decorated with the painting "God the Father Bringing to the World the Promise of Redemption" by Antoine Coypel. The ceiling of the apse (the half-dome) is decorated by Charles de la Fosse's "The Resurrection of Christ" and the ceiling of the royal tribune is "the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Virgin and the Apostles".

The chapel is no longer a place of worship since its de-consecration during the 19th century. Instead, the chapel serves as a magnificent venue for private and public events.

These events took place in the chapel:
Marriage of Louis-Auguste to Marie Antoinette on May 16, 1770.
Marriage of Louis (son of Louis XV) to Marie Thérèse d'Espagne on February 23, 1745.

Versailles: Château de Versailles - Chapelle Royale

Versailles, ParisThe Organ In The Chapel of Versailles

le soleil illumine la Chapelle Royale.

vivre d'amour et d'eau fraicheVersailles

Chateau de Versailles

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