Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chapel at Versailles

My favorite space in Versailles was the Chapel. Completed by the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart in 1710 under king Louis XIV, this was the last of 5 chapels built.
As the chapel was built later than much of the palace, it is bordering on the Neoclassical design that was becoming popular in the 18th century. It proved to not be popular with many of the courtiers of the time because it towered over the very horizontal lines of Versailles as you see above.If you take the tour of private Versailles, this will be your final stop. Other visitors only get to admire the chapel from the doorway. The balcony above the door was where the highest royals and the King would attend services.The ceiling mural was recently restored and is truly breathtaking (and not just because you're staring straight above you!).
The stonework was left ungilded as France was beginning to experience financial problems. If this is cheap construction, sign me up: Still totally amazing! If you've seen the movie 'Marie Antoinette' (one of my favorites), you're familiar with the space and how large it is! Left empty; it almost feels intimate without items for scale.
If lucky, you'll catch one of the concerts held weekly as the space has excellent acoustics!

14 comments:

Kwana said...

It's so beautiful. I love the light there. The way it shows off the art. I've been once and so want to go back.

home before dark said...

Stunning...and all without power tools.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Kwana, I know -no flash was needed for the pics even!
HBD - that always amazes me in these older buildings. Everything still looks so perfect -more so than today!

Ashfield Hansen Design Inc. said...

I missed Versailles on my last trip to Paris (and opted for Vaux le Vicomte and Fontainebleau instead). Thank you for sharing the photos of the chapel, which I don't remember seeing. I will make a point to give considerable time to viewing when I am there.
Thanks again.
David Hansen @ Ashfield Hansen Design

Prairie Girl Studio said...

what would it be like to be standing inside this magnificent building on the day the craftspeople completed it ... what would it be like ...
pg

Terry said...

How could a place like this even be imagined, much less built? I passed the chapel quickly in a tour when I was a teenager long ago. I don't remember a single detail but it's the "room" I remember most vividly.

the.neo.lifestyle said...

mmmm its very nice, passed there in august this year and it was nice, thanks to those photo's i can imagine being there today :-)

thanks

David,

ArchitectDesign™ said...

It's impossible to NOT take a good photo in such a beautiful place -which is how I felt throughout much of Paris!
Terry, I think there are very few memorable rooms at versailles -the hall of mirrors and the chapel being 2 exceptions. The rest just blurs together in a whir of gilt and marble!

home before dark said...

Whir of gilt and marble sounds like a Louis smoothie!

Debra Healy said...

Oh, that ceiling, I really must see it. Fantastic pictures and words. Thanks again.

Merilin said...

the chapel is really a jewel!
little less of golden decoration and little more of abstract scene with blue sky with the angels and it could have been compared to michelangelo's capolavoro at the chapel of sistine. (in my modest opinion) BUT STILL amazingly beautiful!

tartanscot said...

*sigh*

The Antiques Diva™ said...

The Chapel at Versaille is in fact my favorite room in the castle!!
It sounds like you had a sensational Parisian break.
Toma

ornamental woodcarver said...

All of the collums in the church are carved in stone with a different trophy, an unbelievable craftsmanship