Lonely Planet Writer

The Palace of Versailles is home to a magnificent floating waterfall this summer

The Palace of Versailles is no stranger to groundbreaking landscaping and the centrepiece of a new art exhibition takes it to a whole new level; a waterfall seemingly free-floating in space.

The floating waterfall. Image by Anders Sune Berg.

The daring design is the brainchild of Danish artist Olafur Eliasson and the waterfall is just one piece of his show in the famous palace and gardens which opened yesterday to the public and will stay until 30 October. Visitors will also be invited to the glacial rock garden and a spectacular fog installation in the gardens. In the palace itself, there are a series of mirrors and small installations, designed to draw the eye to a different perspective of the famous palace.

Your sense of unity. #olafurversailles @chateauversailles

A photo posted by Studio Olafur Eliasson (@studioolafureliasson) on Jun 8, 2016 at 1:55am PDT

Eliasson, a renowned visual artist, wants to change visitor’s experience of Versailles, getting them “to take control of the authorship of their experience instead of simply consuming and being dazzled by the grandeur”.

The glacial rock garden.
The glacial rock garden. Image by Anders Sune Berg

Eliasson explains that “”Historically, the royal court at Versailles was a place of constant observation…a stunning instrument of power held exclusively by the king. The Versailles that I have been dreaming up is a place that empowers everyone.”

There is no additional charge to visit the installations in the palace and entry to the gardens is free. Elisson’s exhibition is the latest in a series of annual events that the Palace have undertaken since 2008.

Visitors can also benefit from visiting the recently reopened Coach Gallery. The palace itself is currently undergoing a €400 million restoration program that will be completed in 2020. As part of the works, a luxury hotel is set to open in 2018.