Versailles and its museums

Someone once told me the castle at Versailles its not a museum, well it is a very big and nice museum in a castle; just on my last post on St Germain enLaye there is a very nice historical museum in a castle. Many abound. However, I like to talk a bit about the other museums in Versailles ,yes there are others; and one who is trying to be one but it is a historical monument.

I will name them here, Jeu de Paume, Osmothéque, Lambert,and maison de Madame Elizabeth, museum of Carriages, and Musiciens Italienes. Let me tell you a bit about them ,and maybe you will have time next time in town to see them. Ok. First, the tourist office of Versailles, webpage

In the jeu de Paume of Versailles the parliamentarians of the Estates General of France met and swear never to leave until they have created a new constitution ,this was on june 1789 with a very emotional speech.  It is also here that in 1686 the first rules and probably game of Tennis was played. After the revolution, many thing was done here not related at all,even a shop by painter Gros . It is not until 1883 that the city takes the opportunity to renovate and improve the site, finally it was renovated again in 1988 to make it available to the public on specific dates. You have a guide tour at 15h on Saturdays with prior reservation with the tourist office of Versailles, tel +33 (0)1 39 24 88 88 .

Next ,you have the Osmothéque, this is a perfum museum open by reservation too, it has a collection of more than 1800 perfums of which about  400 are no longer available or extinct ; some are the parfum royal of the 1C, the Eau de Cologne of Napoleon at Ste Heléne, Fougére royale d’Houbigant (1884), the Parfums of Rosine,Coty,Lubin,Piver,Weil, Patou, and others. Some of the perfum houses in order to keep their fragances have donated them to the museum such as Ambre Angique (1905), Le Chypre (1917), and Crepe de Chine (1925) etc.  The visit is very intuitive as they can recompose these fragances even today, and you will learn a lot about perfums.  The visit are by appointment only, mondays to fridays, contact at  36, rue du parc de Clagny, Tél : +33(0)1 39 55 46 99, Fax : +33(0)1 39 55 73 64, Email :   webpage

Musée Lambert is the city of Versailles museum, it is in a mansion or hôtel particuliers of the 15C in Louis XV style of architecture built in 1751. A dept of fine arts with work from the 16C to 20C ;including paintings and scultures, a dept of decorative arts  showing what an apartment of the 18C looks like, a department of  history showing the entire history of Versailles.  Admission is only 4€, and contact location info is here, 54 boulevard de la Reine Tel : +33(0)1 39 50 30 32, and  Fax : +33(0)1 39 51 90 88. No web but this is a lovely house with beautiful items that should be worth seeing by anyone.

The maison of Madame Elizabeth, is the house that king Louis XVI gave to his younger sister Elizabeth when she was only 19 yrs old in 1783. She entertain the people in this house full of the happenings of the court away from the court,she was a strong defender of her brother, and maybe for that she was ,also, guillotine at the age of 30 in 1794. He was made into some manufacturing fashion after the revolution ,and later was purchase by the city that it maintain in the middle of a very nice park Domaine de Montreuil. The house is at 73 rue de Paris just up the road from the Castle , and can only be visited by reservation at tel + 33(0)1 39 07 78 78. This is a nice webpage in French with nice pictures of the house, by the government site at

There is a seldom visited museum because it only opens on certains dates, that is the musée des Carrosses, or carriage museum at the Grand Ecurie built between 1679 and 1682;  building across from the Chateau. Here the horse carriages of the kings are kept including the last one of Louis XVI, and the marriage of Napoleon I amongst others; the future dates are Sunday 24 april 2011,Sunday  8 may 2011, Thursday 2 june 2011, Sunday 12 june 2011, and Thursday 14 july 2011. Inquire at the castle itself or  +33(0)1 30 83 78 00 .

The Maison des Musiciens Italienes, is the house where the musicians hire by Louis XIV to play at the opera were housed, they came from Italy. It was later occupied by Mme Marsan the governor of Louis XV, and later by a botanist Le Bonnier, later it was restored by the companogne and it is now their museum. Located at ( Musée du compagnonnage).15 rue Champ Lagarde , contact Tel : +33 (0)6 07 39 70 00. It is now visited by reservation only .

In the continuing sage to show you the other Versailles, hope you enjoy

them as much as I. Any further info ,please let me know. I used to live here for almost 10 years. Cheers!!!

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