Communiqué de presse

Versailles in virtual reality, «Experience Versailles»

“Experience Versailles” is the first virtual reality app launched by the Palace of Versailles in partnership withFondation Orange, plunging visitors into a virtual world of the history of France. The app is free and available on the Steam platform.

After the success of the MOOC called «Louis XIV at Versailles» in 2015, the Palace of Versailles and Fondation Orange are now continuing their collaboration by presenting a virtual reality experience. The «Experience Versailles» app, the first project of its kind developed by the Palace of Versailles, thanks to the patronage of Fondation Orange, offers two experiences through historical re-enactments: «Ambassadors of Siam, 1686” and “Yew Ball, 1745”.

Using virtual reality headsets and controllers, the public can relive two major events from the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV. The first experience will take users back to September 1686, to the reception given by the Sun King for the ambassadors of Siam representing  King Narai. With the controller, the user can move around the Palace in virtual reality in the footsteps of the Siamese ambassadors, from the moment of their arrival in the Royal Courtyard to their meeting with the King of France in the Hall of Mirrors, via the splendid Ambassadors’ staircase which no longer exists but which has been recreated for the first time for this app.

The second visit invites users to spend an evening at Court in 1745 and attend the famous Yew Ball, organised by Louis XV to celebrate the marriage of his son, Louis-Ferdinand. Considered to be one of the most sumptuous events of Louis XV’s reign, this masked ball allowed the King to walk among his guests, disguised as a yew tree, and meet the woman who was to become his new favourite: the Marquise de Pompadour. Guided by a voice-over, visitors will be plunged into the Versailles of the 17th and 18th centuries. The different experiences are accompanied by historical facts and anecdotes, offering a new approach to the history of the Palace and life at the French Court. It provides the opportunity to encounter illustrious figures such as Louis XIV, Louis XV, Jules Hardouin-Mansart and Madame d’Etiolles, the future Madame de Pompadour…

«Experience Versailles» is available in French and English as a free download from the Steam platform, for those in possession of a VR headset such as HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.


the palace of versailles and orange

Continuing the partnership set up in 2009, the «Experience Versailles» app is an opportunity for Orange and the Palace of Versailles to pursue their innovative approach to granting access to culture and heritage to as many people as possible. Several joint projects in this sense have already been carried out:
- launch of a Versailles Gardens visitor app in 2010, updated in 2013,
- creation of an experimental interactive videoconferencing device for school pupils in 2011 to allow them to discover the Palace and the gardens,
- creation of a MOOC called «Louis XIV at Versailles» in 2015, to mark the 300th anniversary of the death of Louis XIV. This free course was published online permanently in 2017.
Innovative technology has long been one of the major focusses of development for the Palace of Versailles, providing visitors and internet users with multiple digital tools to help them find out more about the Palace and the Estate. This is part of its mission as a public institution to promote the heritage for which it is responsible.

About fondation orange

Fondation Orange is involved in three areas of patronage: education, healthcare and culture. In line with Orange’s core business, the foundation’s aim in these areas is to place digital technology at the service of young people struggling at school or with no qualifications, women in difficult situations and people with autism to help their integration into society. We contribute to the democratisation of culture with our commitment to supporting vocal music artists (discovering and helping young talent and supporting festivals) and promoting the dissemination of knowledge and culture to as many people as possible (MOOCs, showing operas in cinemas, remote visits, etc.) Fondation Orange is working to ensure that digital technology, which has become an essential part of life, provides opportunities for everyone. A foundation for solidarity in digital technology, it currently operates in 30 countries with 8,000 employees involved.

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