Jeu de Paume or Royal Tennis court, Versalles of course!

Continuing with my run of off the beaten path places in my beloved Versailles and to once again show you that the city has a lot more than a castle/museum; my saga continues… This time will stay in that other district of Versailles, Saint Louis ,and show you a bit more on the Jeu de  Paume hall or Royal Tennis Courts!

This is in a quant nice little street that makes the place even a bit cozy and ancient. A lovely walk indeed and top by an afternoon visit to the Jeu de Paume. Even if in Saint Louis, the pictures are a bit more this time ::) from my vault!

The Jeu de Paume hall (Royal Tennis Court) is located no. 1 rue jeu de paume, in the heart of the Saint-Louis district, in Versailles of course, dept 78 of Yvelines. It is famous for the oath of the jeu de paume which the deputies of the third State lent there on June 20, 1789. This hall, which was called at the time a Den, was built in 1686. King Louis XIV, as well as other characters of the court, played in the tennis game, very popular game at the time and ancestor of the current Tennis.


King Louis XVI wanted to prevent the third State and its allies from the clergy and the nobility from meeting again, because the States General are in the process of making a legal revolution. With the decision to dissolve the orders and create a National Assembly, the king must take over the advantage and summon the three states for a royal meeting. Under the pretext of decoration work, the Hotel des Menus-Plaisirs (see this post) is thus closed by the king, against the advice of his minister Jacques Necker. The provisional president of the All-new National Assembly, Jean-Sylvain Bailly, presents himself on the morning of 20 June, in front of the Hotel, while a detachment of French guards forbids access. In the street, the noise of a coup is circulating, the crowd is agitated and the deputies are looking for another place to continue their work. On the proposal of Deputy Joseph Ignace Guillotin (you know him! la guillotine! ), they are investing in the Jeu de Paume hall in the Saint-Louis district. It is an all-length building of 29 × 10 meters owned by private individuals. The walls are painted black in order to help the players to see the balls better and the blue ceiling is dotted with fleur de lys. For all furniture   it was installed a few seats and, as a table, a door on two barrels. This scene was immortalized in 1791 by the great unfinished historical picture of the painter Jacques-Louis David, the oath of the Tennis game (jeu de paume). The hall became a national property in 1793.


The Jeu de Paume hall was abandoned under the Second Empire, before being transformed by the Republicans in the Museum of the French Revolution in 1883, with the commemorations of the centenary of the revolution. Completely renovated in 1988 on the occasion of the celebrations of the bicentennial of the revolution in 1989, the jeu de paume hall received President François Mitterrand to commemorate the legacy of Bailly and the spirit of 1789.


Currently managed under the responsibility of the public establishment of the castle, the museum and the National estate of Versailles, it is open to the public every afternoon. See the webpage for updates.

Some webpages to help you prepare your visit here are

Official Chateau de Versailles take on the Jeu de Paume

Tourist office of Versailles take on the Jeu de Paume

City of Versailles take on the Jeu de Paume in French

There you go ,another off the beaten path of my beloved Versailles , full of wonderful sights and history, architecture,and just plain beauty all around you. Hope you enjoy it.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!



2 Comments to “Jeu de Paume or Royal Tennis court, Versalles of course!”

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