Fireworks displays, fountains, classical music in the gardens and concerts – the Palace of Versailles summer programme (see website at the bottom for confirmed dates and times) at the Versailles Estate is packed with great events from March to October.
Chateau de Versailles Shows
Musical Fountains at Versailles
Stroll through the gardens of Versailles that the Sun King himself adored. The ornamental ponds and fountains regain the past glory and splendour of the court of Louis XIV, thanks to the expertise of water-fountain engineers. Waterfalls, jets and sprays of water spring forth for a few hours each day in a crystal clear aquatic dance to the sound of music by Lully, the King’s favourite composer.
The website (below) lists details for the opening of the groves and the times for the water effects at the different fountains.
Les Grandes Eaux Nocturnes – Fountains Night Show
At dusk, the gardens of Versailles bask in a special atmosphere created by lighting and stage effects artists, musicians as well as fireworks experts.
Every Saturday throughout the summer, at nightfall the gardens and water features at Château de Versailles come to life. After the Sérénade Royale (below), a musical walk through the King’s apartments and the Hall of Mirrors, you can wander among the paths of the palace gardens. Explore the shrubberies and groves, accompanied by music, bubbling jets of water and soft light. The evening ends with firework display magnificently orchestrated with music from the Louis XIV period, in front of the Grand Canal.
Royal Serenade in the Hall of Mirrors
Just before The Fountains Night Show, dancers from the company L’Eventail and the Ensemble Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien invite visitors to accompany them from the Royal Apartments to the famous Hall of Mirrors. A circuit punctuated with theatrical sketches portraying the customs and habits of the court in the 17th century. Performances last 40 minutes.
The Musical Gardens
Discover the preserved areas of the Versailles Estate, with French-style formal garden designed by the Sun King’s favourite gardener and landscape architect, André Le Nôtre. A chance to discover the garden on a musical promenade. Opening of the groves: from 9am to 6.30pm. Music from 10am to 6.30pm.
Versailles Festival – Royal Voices
Under the cover of nightfall, the Fountains Night Show magically transforms the gardens of Versailles. This musical festival has a line-up of concerts, a comic play-ballet, a comic opera-ballet and a musical stroll, all in the exceptional setting of the Palace of Versailles and the gardens of the Petit Trianon. From 31 May to 9 July 2016.
The Orangery Nights
At sunset, the Palace of Versailles and the garden of the Orangery become the setting for big outdoor performances, which combine music, ballet and fireworks that echo back to the lavish festivities of the Sun King.
One night only events at Versailles:
Fetes Galantes: May: Baroque evening in costumes of the period in the Hall of Mirrors to relive the time of the Sun King for a few hours! On the programme: demonstrations, Baroque dancing lessons, ball, concert of sacred music, guided tours of the Private Apartments of the King and Queen.
Grand Masked Ball at Versailles: June – from 11.30pm to dawn. The ‘Sun King’ will be the theme of the Great Masked Ball, a chance to relive the splendour of royal festivities staged by famous choreographer Kamel Ouali, in the Orangery of the Palace of Versailles.
My First Ball, in the gardens of Versailles: June 2.30pm – A children’s event that they, and you, will never forget. Dressed in their finest costumes, children aged 6 to 12 are welcomed to the fabulous Orangery of the Palace of Versailles for a memorable afternoon.
More info on the gorgeous garden festivities at Versailles: www.chateauversailles-spectacles