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The restoration of the Chapelle Royale of the Palace of Versailles (2018-2021) is coming to an end. Originally built in 1710 by Louis XIV it had never seen a complete restoration and after 1789 the palace was largely closed, furniture sold off and it became a white elephant. Other Kings like Louis Philippe tried to find a use for it and make some changes to interiors. After 1870 the Republican government wanted to use the palace for a parliament but that was short lived. The vast building was aging and had been built for a purpose by the original occupant the Sun King. For the last 100 years the palace was open as a neglected museum to a long ago age and it was used by the French Government for State visits and receptions. However in the last 50 years a vast and complex program of rehabilitation of the building and its gardens and fountains has been underway. Some of it paid for by the French State and some by private and public donations.

The Chapelle Royale is starting to emerge from its protective envelop.

Here are before and after pictures. The entire exterior has been cleaned, stone work repaired, the slate roof replaced and the lead roof ornaments including the cross have been recovered with their original gold leaf. Hundreds of specialists worked on this project.

Truly a splendid result to see. Work continues on other parts of the palace. Including recreating rooms with original furniture and recreating fabrics for upholstery and curtains. The organ of the Chapelle Royale was also completely rebuilt to give it its original sonority of 1710 which was very different from what modern organs produce.