Royal Opera of Versailles

The original luxurious opera house.

Paris, France, Europe

The Royal Opera of Versailles opened in an unrivalled fashion, with an event which alone sets it apart. The opera was inaugurated in 1770 with the wedding of the Dauphin, the future Louis XVI, with the Archduchess Marie-Antoinette. It was at the time the largest opera house in France. The architect, Jacques Ange Gabriel, would later go on to design part of the Louvre, the Place de la Concorde, and the Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux – all beautiful examples of neoclassical splendour. The opera is located within the Chateau de Versailles, and not visible from the outside. Even the halls leading to the theatre don’t reveal the extravagance you’re about to enter. The auditorium itself is as luxurious as you’d imagine, and entirely crafted out of wood, down to the sculptures and the faux marble columns. If you’re in Versailles, make sure to visit another (!) opera house – the Petit Théâtre de la Reine. It is a tiny theatre, intended only for Marie Antoinette and her friends. From the outside it is plain, but the interior is richly decorated. Don’t miss this gem! More information here: