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Madame du Barry's Apartment in Versailles Has Regained its Luster

Published on , by Marie-Laure Castelnau

The newly restored apartment of Louis XV's last mistress is now open to the public for the exhibition dedicated to the monarch. One of the most refined places of the château, a testament to the intimacy of Versailles.

© Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN © Christophe Fouin Madame du Barry's Apartment in Versailles Has Regained its Luster

© Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN © Christophe Fouin

In the twilight of his life, King Louis XV was widowed, after the death of his wife Queen Marie Leszczynska, which was followed by that of his mistress and friend, Madame de Pompadour. He quickly found consolation in the beauty of Madame du Barry, his last mistress. He even decided to move her into his former offices, just above his own apartments. This prestigious area, in the very heart of the chateau, covers 3767 square feet on the second floor under the roof. The apartment was divided into about fifteen rooms, including a room that was directly connected to the king's room by a small hidden staircase. The monarch, aged 60, could thus discreetly join his young mistress, who was 33 years younger than him. Designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, this vast dwelling overlooks the marble courtyard from the reception rooms and the inner courtyards from the more intimate rooms. In the main rooms, the profusion of gold is astonishing: "To have gilded woodwork was normally an exceptional privilege at court, a privilege enjoyed only by princes," explained Frédéric Didier, architect of Historic Monuments, who was in charge of the restoration project. Undoubtedly,…
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