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Versailles' Royal Chapel

This extraordinary two-level palatine chapel is one of many delights to be found at the Palace of Versailles.

TravelCurious Tip

Make sure you find your way onto the second level to get ‘the royal view’ down into the nave.

The king as God’s lieutenant

In the traditions of the French monarchy, the king was chosen by God and through coronation became his ‘lieutenant’ on earth. All the paintings and sculptures in the Royal Chapel at Versailles evoke this idea - a series documents the process of coronation, starting at the nave and ending at the gallery where the king sat.

The Court would attend the king’s mass at around 10 AM on this day. He would sit in the royal gallery, surrounded by his family. In French hierarchical tradition, the ladies of the Court occupied the side galleries and the ‘officers’ and the public sat below.

Unfortunately for Louis XIV, his favourite chapel, built in 1682 on the site of the Hercules salon, had quickly proved to be too cramped. The Royal Chapel was built by Jules Hardouin Mansart between 1699 and 1708 and completed by Robert de Cotte in 1710; Louis XIV only used this chapel for five years before his death in 1715.


Gothic meets Baroque

Jules Mansart did not see the end of its construction as he died in 1708, the chapel’s construction having been delayed by war. His brother-in-law Robert de Cotte replaced him, but the general lines of the architecture and decoration had been decided since 1699. The nave, side aisles, ambulatory and an elevation with galleries were all included in the floor plan.

Look up to see how the white and gold decoration contrasts with bare marble tiling and the fantastically detailed painted roof. The chapel is a special example of Gothic and Baroque styles on show, interwoven but still possible to tell apart.

In its day, the greatest organists from Europe would play the mighty Clicquot organ which sits above the altar. Equally renowned singers would sing motets each day throughout the entire church service.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Paris
Place de la Concorde
One of the major public squares in the city centre, well-known for its fountains and obelisk - and its bloody history.
The Eiffel Tower
Completed in 1889 amid much controversy, the Eiffel Tower has become a symbol of Parisian style and success.
Versailles' Hall of Mirrors
The Hall of Mirrors reflects the height of French prosperity under Louis XIV.
Versailles Gardens
These gardens are a feat to match the palace's interiors, designed by King Louis XIV's royal gardener.
Trocadero
A historical area that offers spectacular views of the Eiffel Tower from across the River Seine.
Les Berges River Path
A pedestrianised recreation pathway along the river's edge

Related Tours

Private Grandiose Versailles Tour with hotel pick up: Baroque Palace and Beautiful Gardens
Soak in the splendour, architecture, and culture of Versailles on our Grandiose Versailles Tour.

  • Visit an unmissable UNESCO world heritage sight.
  • Learn about the palace's  impressive Baroque architecture.
  • Peruse  extensive works of art and period furniture that fill the palace.
  • See the Royal Chapel,  Hall of Mirrors, and  King's Grand Apartments.
  • Relax and take in the awesome beauty of Versailles Park.
Splendour and Tragedy

When visiting Paris, the Palace of Versailles should absolutely be at the top of your to-do list.  It is one of France’s most visited attractions and a UNESCO world heritage sight,  This fantastic tour of Versailles will introduce you to the splendour and tragedy that surrounds one of the most enigmatic, and indeed largest royal palaces in the world. Here you will witness the beautiful achievements of 18th century French art that remained symbols of absolute monarchy for more than a century.

Baroque at Its Finest 

As we explore this supreme symbol of royal power, your expert local guide will introduce you to the impressive Baroque architecture, extensive works of art, and period furniture that fills the palace. You will discover the most famous parts of the Palace, such as Versailles' Royal Chapel, the Hall of Mirrors, and the King's Grand Apartments. 

After exploring the decadent interior you will be pleased to have a chance to relax and take in the awesome beauty of Versailles Park - the grandest example of classical French landscaping anywhere in France, and indeed the world.  Strewn with many beautiful statues and colossal fountains, the park and its Grand Canal will be sure to leave you awestruck. After your guided tour, you will have the opportunity to further explore the expansive grounds at your own pace. 
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