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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
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.
Seine River Cruise
Get delighted with the magnificent views of the city along the Seine River, on board the Bateaux Mouches.
Royal Apartments
Inside Versailles Palace, the Royal apartments were not only a place for rest but also the setting for important Palace ceremonies.
Versailles Palace
Located about 20 kilometres southwest of the centre of Paris, The Palace of Versailles was the principal royal residence of France from 1682, under Louis XIV, until the start of the French Revolution in 1789, under Louis XVI.
Musical Fountains show
Enjoy the extraordinary beauty of the water features synchronised to the tune of period music.

Related Tours

Private Versailles Palace & Gardens Tour, Musical Fountain Show & Hotel Pick-up (tickets included)
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 site. 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. On your private tour of Versailles, you will: 

  • Travel in comfort with private return transportation from central Paris
  • Learn about French royalty and the palace's impressive Baroque architecture.
  • See the best of the palace, including: the Royal Chapel, Hall of Mirrors, The Peace Room, War Room, and the King’s Grand Apartments. 
  • Relax and take in the awesome beauty of the Gardens of Versailles.
  • On select days when running, enjoy the splendor of the Musical Fountains show in the garden. 
  • After tour of the famed gardens, enjoy an easy, private transfer back to Paris. 
  • This tour is free for children up to age 11 (inclusive). 

As you explore this supreme symbol of royal power, your expert licensed 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 of the estate, relax and take in the awesome beauty of the Gardens at Versailles – the grandest example of classical French landscaping anywhere in France. Strewn with many beautiful statues and colossal fountains, the and its Grand Canal will be sure to leave you awestruck. On select days, enjoy the Musical Fountains show, which incorporate sound into the beauty of the garden. Generally the show runs from April through October, on weekends and some Tuesdays and Fridays. On days in which the show is not on, your guide will take you on a walking tour through the Gardens after which you will return to Paris via private transportation.
Private tour: Palace of Versailles, Gardens and Musical Fountain Show (tickets included)
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 site. 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. On your private tour of Versailles, you will: 

  • Meet your guide outside the palace, where they will escort you in with priority admission.
  • Learn about French royalty and the palace's impressive Baroque architecture.
  • See the best of the palace, including: the Royal Chapel, Hall of Mirrors, The Peace Room, War Room, and the King’s Grand Apartments. 
  • Relax and take in the awesome beauty of the Gardens of Versailles.
  • On select days when running, enjoy the splendor of the Musical Fountains show in the garden. 
  • Your tour ends inside the famous Gardens of Versailles, giving you time to explore the rest of the estate at your own pace. 
  • Note: your tour includes priority admission to the palace and access to the whole Estate at the end of your tour
  • This tour is free for children up to age 11 (inclusive). 

As you explore this supreme symbol of royal power, your expert licensed 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 of the estate, relax and take in the awesome beauty of the Gardens at Versailles – the grandest example of classical French landscaping anywhere in France. Strewn with many beautiful statues and colossal fountains, the and its Grand Canal will be sure to leave you awestruck. On select days, enjoy the Musical Fountains show, which incorporate sound into the beauty of the garden. After your guided tour, you will have the opportunity to further explore the expansive grounds at your own pace. 

Please note: The Musical Fountain show runs from April to October on weekends, and on select Tuesdays and Fridays. 
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