After nearly a decade, the Coach Gallery of the Palace of Versailles in France is once again open to the public for viewing.
The gallery, which contains opulent coaches from France’s royal history, is located in the King’s Great Stables and has reopened its doors on 10 May with the support of a sponsorship from the Michelin Corporate Foundation. The collection is one of the largest in Europe and will be on display is a new and redesigned space after recently undergoing restorations.
The Palace of Versailles, a mid-17th century palace built during the reign of Louis XIV, attracts millions of visitors each year who want to take in the luxurious gardens or palatial rooms, such as the famed Hall of Mirrors.
Now, visitors will also be able to check out a collection of carriages that have been a part of major moments in French history, which includes Berlins from the marriage of Napoleon I, a coach from the coronation ceremony of Charles X and what served as the funeral carriage for Louis XVIII. Guests will also see “finely decorated harnesses with gilded bronze, litters, the small coaches belonging to Marie-Antoinette’s children and an incredible collection of fantastical sledges made during the reign of Louis XV”.
The gallery has been closed since 2007, and while some of the coaches have been on display during the past decade in a two-year exhibit in Arras, the new exhibition space has two galleries to show off the pieces in a permanent setting. The 1,000-square-metre space will spread out the collection in a space with scenography that “will respect the spirit and architecture of the setting: the Royal Stables built by Jules Hardouin-Mansart between 1679 and 1682”, according to the palace’s website.