MADAME ELISABETH – the tragic fate of a princess – Versailles
For the first time in Versailles, a major exhibition dedicated to Madame Elisabeth of France is held at her domain in Montreuil. Through this exhibition organised by the Conseil Général des Yvelines in collaboration with the Palace of Versailles, visitors will discover the everyday life of a young princess at the onset of the French revolution.
A young princess in Versailles
Madame Elisabeth, Louis XVI’s youngest sister, lost her parents when she was very young and spent her life at the court of Versailles but never married. On her nineteenth birthday the King offered her the domain of Montreuil, a beautiful country house which sits in a lovely park and is located one mile away from the Palace. The princess was not allowed to live there full time until she turned 25 (age of majority for a princess), however by that time the French Revolution which was well under way and tragic events dictated otherwise… .
The exhibition – Versailles –
The exhibition is divided in two parts, first in the house where visitors can admire over 130 works including furniture, paintings, drawings, jewelry and imagine the everyday life of the young princess in this quiet refuge. Her hobbies included needlework, music, games, painting but also science and math. The second part of the exhibition is set up in the Orangery where the life of the princess and the history of the estate are retraced. (no English panels unfortunately)
The grounds and the art of 18th century gardens – Versailles
This tribute to Madame Elisabeth is also the opportunity to discover a superb 18th century garden. The grounds, laid out in the style of an English garden, have retained their original feel and offer a relaxing and peaceful setting. In front of the Orangery, beds of medicinal and aromatic plants conjure up the figure of Lemonnier, Madame Elisabeth’s physician, who cultivated plants on the estate. The walk between the two exhibition venues is enlivened with topiary representing animals.
This innovative exhibition which appeals to all senses with music, perfumes, paintings and delicate fabrics offers an intimate vision of life just outside the court. This superb house offers an interesting contrast with the hustle and bustle that was the Palace of Versailles.
Location in Versailles:
One mile away from the Palace of Versailles on the Avenue de Paris, access from the Palace catch bus 171 and get off at Jean Mermoz
You can also walk for one mile along the tree-lined Avenue de Paris and the Domain will be on your left.
See map : http://elisabeth.yvelines.fr/informations-pratiques/acces/
For more info see official website: http://elisabeth.yvelines.fr/english-information/
Entry is free!
Open daily Tuesday to Sunday from noon to 6.30pm (last entry 6pm)
Park open from 11 am to 8 pm