© Thomas Garnier
Following three years of meticulous renovation and refurnishing, two buildings especially dear to Marie-Antoinette – the “Queen’s House” and the Réchauffoir (where dishes were warmed before being served at the royal table) – reopened to the public on May 12th. For the first time in two centuries visitors will be able to discover these two exceptional places in the heart of the Queen’s Hamlet at the Château de Versailles. The two buildings were restored thanks to support from the Maison Dior.
The Queen’s Hamlet in Versailles, a small Norman village built for Queen Marie-Antoinette by architect Richard Mique between 1783 and 1787, was in need of a complete restoration. No major work had been done on the Queen’s House for nearly 60 years and the building was in a state of near abandon, making public visits impossible. Structural repairs were thus undertaken and the masonry, wood framing and roofing were all consolidated.
The interior of the Queen’s House has been refurnished in the oldest documented style, that designed for the Empress Marie-Louise, the second wife of Napoleon I. The delicate refinement of the house’s interior design contrasts with the picturesque bucolic style of the building, a contrast that the royal owners explicitly wanted. The interior restoration was overseen by Jacques Moulin, Chief Architect for French historical monuments, along with Jérémie Benoît, the head curator of the Château de Versailles.
Support for this restoration by Maison Dior is part of the LVMH’s extensive and ongoing philanthropy program since 1991 to help preserve and heighten the appeal of the Château de Versailles and its estate.