"Vivez Versailles" (experience Versailles) is the first virtual reality application launched by the Chateau of Versailles in partnership with the Orange Foundation. It offers the public a virtual immersion in the heart of the history of France. This free-of-charge application will be available on the Steam platform from 3 July.
The application "Vivez Versailles" offers two experiences based on historical reconstitutions: "Embassy of Siam, 1686" and "Yew Tree Ball, 1745".
In the steps of the Ambassador of Siam
Equipped with his virtual reality headset and controls, the user can relive these two major events in the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV. The first experience involves returning to September 1686 when the Sun King received the Ambassadors of Siam, envoys of King Phra Naraï. The user, with his controls, can enjoy a virtual visit of the Chateau of Versailles in the steps of the Siamese Ambassadors: from their arrival in the Royal Courtyard to their meeting with the King of France in the Hall of Mirrors, including the magnificent Ambassadors’ Stairs that no longer exist but have been reconstituted for the first time for this application.
An evening at court
The second experience allows the user to spend an evening at Court in 1745 to attend the famous Yew Tree Ball, held by Louis XV to celebrate the wedding of his son Louis-Ferdinand. Considered one of the most lavish events of the reign of Louis XV, this masked ball was an opportunity for the King to wander among his guests disguised as a yew tree and to meet the lady who would become his new favourite, the Marquise de Pompadour.
Guided by a voice-over, the user is immersed in the Versailles of the 17th and 18th centuries. The experience, interspersed with historic and anecdotal information, offers a new way of approaching the history of the Chateau and life at the French Court. An opportunity to ’meet’ some illustrious figures: Louis XIV, Louis XV, Jules Hardouin-Mansart and Madame d’Etiolles, the future Madame de Pompadour…
"Vivez Versailles" will be available free-of-charge in French and English, downloaded from the Steam platform, for people who have HTC Vive or Oculus Rift type virtual reality headsets. The application follows on from another invention that also provides easy access to culture: the Louis XIV in Versailles MOOC, co-produced by the Orange Foundation and the Chateau of Versailles.