One of the first things I saw when I arrived at the Palace of Versailles in 2011 was a construction site. In partnership with Google, we were building the History Gallery, an exhibit that brought together our art collections and digital reconstructions of the palace in 3D. The History Gallery gave people a better understanding of Versailles, and eight years later, the partnership between the Palace of Versailles and Google Arts & Culture continues to give everyone access to this cultural treasure through technology. Today, we’re launching a new online exhibition for everyone who can’t make it to Paris or who wants to explore this majestic place in a new way: Versailles: The Palace is Yours.
Our new app VersaillesVR—a technological first in the cultural world—takes visitors on a virtual reality tour of the Royal Grand Apartments, the Chapel and the Opera. To capture the imagery, we used photogrammetry—a technology that reconstructs three-dimensional models of objects and landmarks from two-dimensional photographs. It’s an invitation to discover the secrets of Versailles, and a magnificent sneak peek for those who might plan to visit in person. Though nothing will ever replace the emotion of actually stepping into the Palace, we hope this visual immersion might inspire you to do just that.
There are also 18 new online exhibitions featuring 340 artworks—including portraits of the royal family digitized in ultra high resolution and archival photos of Versailles dating from the 19th century—as well as 18 never-before-seen 3D models of iconic rooms and objects. Explore the 73-meter long Hall of Mirrors, the King’s Bed or Marie-Antoinette’s jewelry cabinet.
Versailles has always been an incredible place to visit. Today, opening the doors of Versailles to the world means opening them virtually, too.