Welcome to Versailles!

This blog is dedicated to the L'ancien Régime or Ancient Regime of the French monarchy before the revolution. Take a tour around the royal family's residences at Home of Kings, read about the Kings, Queens and nobility and the strict etiquette that dominated Versailles. If you have a taste for architecture take a look at A Palace is Created for some of the original drawings for what is now Versailles.

Remember, this page is constantly being updated so remember to check back soon to find out more about the most extravagant court the world has ever seen.

Having trouble finding your way around? Here is a quick description of the specific topics.




Got a question?
If you are wondering about a specific aspect about life at Versailles or a specific topic found on this blog, then feel free to submit your question at this page and I will get back to you as soon as possible

72 comments:

  1. You must be as obsessed as I am with 18th Century as I am and much more organized to have put together such a fantastic blog. Very impressive! I will be back to read your posts often.

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    1. thank you so much! I really love life at Versailles and I'm so glad that you like my blog :)

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  2. I've been looking at your blog some more and am amazed at how thorough and complete it is! I'd like to email a question to you, but don't see your email address on the blog….

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. A fascinating and very thorough blog which must have taken ages to research and design. Very obviously a labour of love!

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    1. Thank you! It has taken quite a while to put it all together but it is something I am happy to do

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  5. Thank You so much! I really do love all the photos and floorplans! Especially those of The Petit Trianon. Good job!

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  6. Thank you, I'm so glad you like it! I am in the middle of updating the photos since I found a better way of displaying them :)

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  7. Hello, I love looking at floor plans of castles and palaces and am obsessed with them especially Versailles. I have had a question for many years about Versailles that you might be able to answer. Do you know how people would have got from the first floor to the hall of mirrors on the second floor? Which stair case they would have used and which rooms they would have walked through to get the the hall of mirrors? There doesn't seem to be anyway to get there without walking through the rooms of the king and queens apartments. Do you know anything about this topic? Thank you!

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  8. Hi! I have an odd fondness for floor plans as well but that should not come as a surprise :) People would indeed walk through the King or Queen's apartment to get to the Hall of Mirrors. We sometime tend to imagine these apartments as private but the King and Queen's apartments were open to everyone - even their bedrooms. It was only their private rooms that was off-limits. I hope that answers your question, if not just ask again :)

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  9. Hello! I really adore your blog, it has so much amazing information about Versailles! I have a question for you. I am currently writing a novel set in Versailles, and I can't seem to determine where exactly the courtiers who served the king slept. I know the Chateau de Versailles website mentions that the established courtiers were accommodated in the Grand Lodgings or the Stables. Do you know where this is within the premises of Versailles? What it would have been like, or the interior perhaps? Do you have any information about the daily lives of courtiers in Versailles, more specifically during the reign of Louis XVI? I visited Versailles many years ago, but I was fairly young and didn't remember much, so if you know anything, that would be really helpful. :) Thanks so much for an awesome blog! :)

    Audrey

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    1. Hi and thank you so much ! The most prominent courtiers had their own apartments within the château where especially the north wing was dedicated to this purpose while the south wing was mainly reserved for princes. Other courtiers were lodged underneath the roof in tiny, cramped apartments while others rented houses in the village of Versailles or - more popularly - Paris.
      Remember, that the courtiers only performed the duties that would involve direct contact with the King whereas the everyday tasks would be left to a smaller army of servants.

      If you have any more questions, feel free to ask :)

      Louise

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  10. Thank you so much! Do you know where exactly in the North Wing they would have been accommodated? Thanks again, this is really interesting! :)

    Audrey

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    1. Actually, the entire North Wing was used for this purpose since all the apartments of state were located near the King and Queen's apartments

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  11. Hi i am incredibly amazed with your blog! Thank you very much. I was wondering if you could point me towards a better understanding of how the ranks inside the court were established and how this was represented in objects, for example i understand that depending on the rank each person had to sit in a type of chair, but i haven't found pictures of these chairs, or pictures of how the apartments differed from one noble to another depending on their rank. I hope you can enlighten me on this matter, for everything else your blog has been incredible to read :) thank you!

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  12. What a fabulous blog! So much to discover here.

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  13. How do I find the floor plans? Is there are title page or something that I can click onto specific areas? Looks a great blog 😊

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  14. Can you tell us who had rights of entry? Also Ive heard that some courtiers had only 1 door open for them while some had both doors open for them

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    1. Hi Josh,

      Is there a particular right of entry you are looking for? If so is it an exact list of courtiers you seek?
      Indeed, certain courtiers - depending on their rank - was only entitled to having one door opened while others had both.

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  15. Amazing! Thank you so so much! I´m a fashion design student and this has helped me so much, and you will of course be credited. Keep up the good work! Blessings!

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    1. Thanks so much! I'm glad you have found some use of it :D

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  16. Hello from Australia! We currently have a Versailles exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia and your blog has been fantastic to help me study for the exhibition. Many thanks. Marianela

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    1. I am definitely going to check out the link! So glad you like the blog :)

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  17. http://nga.gov.au/versailles/

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  18. This century fascinates me please add me 2 your email

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  19. Hi Louise
    I am so glad I found your blog. It's amazing. Really good work you've done. I have a question for you, I apologies if you've already given the answer, but I can't seem to find it.So, my question is if you know which rooms/apartment Madame Montespan lived in? Could you please mark it on the construction plan?
    Kind regards

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    1. Hi and thank you!
      I have made a new post about her apartment which you can find under "The Apartments"

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  20. Hello,

    I am a writer with LiveScience.com, a web magazine based in the US. I am working on a piece about the history and architecture of Versailles and would like to ask you a few questions about it. I would, of course, link to your blog. Please let me know what you think and if you have any questions. You can email me at jessieszalay@gmail.com.

    Thank you very much!

    Sincerely,
    Jessie Szalay

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  21. Can you tell me if there are pictures of the billiard cue/mace, used bij Marie Antoinette? Please help me, for I'm looking for that special picture.

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    1. Hi and sorry for the late reply :) Unfortunately, I do not think her personal billiard cue survives to this day

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  22. Many thanks for all the time and energy you have invested in publishing this wonderful site! The quality and quantity of information here is quite astonishing.

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    1. Thank you! I hope to write a book on the subject soon if possible :)

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  23. I've just discovered your blog! It is fantastic! Thank you for all this amazing information!

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  24. Fantastic blog. As a versailles tour provider my hope is that all my guides can show the castle with the same clarity and passion as your comes through in your articles and even more so excellent photography.

    Do you have a section on your blog which talks about the porcelain sets, jeweled objects and paintings from Versailles that ended up in the Wallace Collection in London and how they got there?

    Best
    Larry
    Experience Paris
    http://www.manstouch.com

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    1. Thank you very much for your kind comment. I do not have a specific section on that topic but I can do some research for you if you want? I am already working with one tour provider of Versailles and would be happy to help

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  25. Hi Louise,
    It's just an interest. I really enjoy going to the Wallace Collection and last summer went to take a look at the chateau de Bagatelle. It's just an interesting London/Paris connection and the collection of French art and objects is stunning and I find odd because I woudl expect it to be in Paris and not London. Do you do tours yourself or do you stick to writing?
    Best
    Larry

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    1. A great deal of the courtiers fled to London and some never returned to France which account for why London is so rich in French objets d'art. I am based in Copenhagen so I cannot do tours myself - also my blog is a hobby rather than a business

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  26. Oh wow. Hobbyist tend to be more knowledgeable than most so called experts. Next time you come to Paris perhaps we can get together for coffee in the 7th? If you would like to link to us from your blog I'd be happy as well (we are very good at what we do.)

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    1. I am going to Paris this April if you are available then? I plan on showing my sister the city since she has never been to France

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  27. Yes I'll be here. Just send me an email when you know your itinerary. It's concierge@manstouch.com

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  28. I love this blog. There is so much information in this blog that I didn't know about. I have read many, many books and have seen several shows, but nothing compares to what I have learned here. Very interesting and accurate information! Keep up the good work! I am hoping to visit Versailles within a year for my first time. I live in the US. Thank you!

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  29. I've lived for Versailles and Louis XIV since around the time I was in the third grade! What interests me most at the moment are the specifics of his parties and those of the later Louis'. Do you know where I can find specific details, activities of those? Also do you know of a place I could look at pictures of baroque haute cuisine; I saw the photos from Vatel, the movie, and that dinner hosted there a couple years ago served as it would be to Louis XIV. Love the blog!
    Philip

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  30. Hi Louise!
    Thanks for an absolutely fabulous site! I'm curious to know more about the hygien of the time. Like, how did the women at court deal with their periods? :O They didn't have any underwear!

    Also, Did they have makeup on their eyes, like some kind of mascara and/or on their eyelids?

    Hugs from Sweden!
    Marie

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    1. Hi Marie

      Mange tak! I will upload a post on periods since you got me thinking of it and I think it could be interesting. I will upload it under "Hygiene and facilities" as soon as possible.

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  31. Thanks k you for creating this blog. It makes me very happy to read this darling blog .I am very passionate about Versailles and wish to visit someday

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  32. Love all the info! Where abouts now is the bath/pool that Montespan and Louis IV used together?

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    1. Hi Jane, it is still located at Versailles in the Orangerie

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  33. Hi! I love your blog and I've learned so much! Thanks for all the time and effort you put into it! I have a question. I've been researching the children of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan and I came upon Madame de Pompadour. Is there a reason Louis XV never had any children with Madame de Pompadour or Marie Anne de Mailly, Duchesse de Châteauroux?

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    1. Hi!
      Thank you, I am really glad to hear that! Well, Madame de Pompadour suffered at least three miscarriages by the king; the last one in 1749 which was also the year when they allegedly stopped sharing a bed. As for Madame de Châteauroux that is a bit trickier. It may simply be that they just never conceived. Louis XV's fertility was well demonstrated in his many children by the queen but Madame de Châteauroux never had any children by either the king or her husband - perhaps she couldn't.

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    2. Thanks so much! I never knew that, that's so interesting! On a completely unrelated note, is there a reason some royal couples continued to have children and others didn't? I.e. Louis Ferdinand and Maria Joseph had 13, right up until his death, while Louis XIV and Maria Theresa and Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette stopped after only a few children.

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    3. Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI were pretty much stopped by the revolution but Louis XIV and Marie Thérèse had six children of which only one survived so it is possible that they decided not to try for more

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  34. Do you think that if all of Louis XIV's and Marie Therese's children had lived to adulthood he would have legitimized and treated his illegitimate children with as much as favor? (I.e. titles, advancing marriages, important offices)

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  35. I am looking at the seating arrangements from the wedding dinner for Marie Antoinette and Louis. On one of the most favoured places, are written one word, Madame. As far as I know, there were no Madame at Versailles in 1770, the nearest would have been Adelaide, but she is there on the other side of the table.

    Who is this Madame? I reckon it can not be Madame de Barry..? Would that be allowed, even for a king?

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    1. I believe it is the wife of the Duc d'Orléans. He had married his mistress, Madame de Montesson, but Louis XV refused to grant her the title of Duchesse d'Orléans.

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  36. Hi Louise!

    I have a question you might not be able to answer, but I'll give it a try:
    If a newborn child died, that was not of nobility, where would he/she be buried if the parents was workers at the Versailles castle? (in the late 18th century)

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    1. Hi Marie! I believe it would have been buried in the local churchyard; the nobility tended to have their own crypts or mausoleums but the church at the village of Versailles was used by the commoners

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  37. Good afternoon, Louise! My name is Tatiana, I'm from Ukraine. I am delighted with your blog, there is so much information here! I am fond of the period of Louis XIV and in instagram I have a blog dedicated to him - @leroilouisXIV. But there are more illustrations, and you have a lot of interesting information. Tell me, do you know which courtiers had the right to live in Versailles? What positions should they hold? And is there somewhere on the Internet a table of ranks of the 17th century? I would like to know about the positions and responsibilities at the court of the king and queen.
    Thank you again for your blog!

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    1. Hi Tatiana! Those who were entitled to an apartment were employed in the households of someone in the royal family - primarily the king and queen. Others could be granted one out of favour. There is a table of ranks under "Ranks: Key to the Court" and I have some of the positions under "the Households"

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  38. Were the King's meals watched publicly like dinner with the Grand Couvert? What was the difference between this meal and breakfast and lunch?

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  39. Hi Louise!

    Do you know if Marie Therese Charlotte ever got to see Versailles again after she was released from the temple?

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  40. Did Philippe I, Duke of Orléans dress as a woman at his wedding party to Palatine?

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