I’m not at all interested in cars – apart from a one time exception made for a beautiful vintage Morris Minor my father and grandfather gave me for my 21st birthday! However the carriage museum which opened recently in Versailles turned out to be a unexpectedly fascinating visit. Housed in the royal stables just opposte the palace, this new museum is free to visit, and allows us a glimpse into another, often overlooked aspect of life at the royal courts, something that I had never even thought about. It’s home to spectacular carriages, golden sedan chairs, magnificent harnesses for the horses and even sleighs used by the ladies to ride around the gardens in winter, including an amazing one with a carved wooden base shaped like a turtle.
If you have some extra time at Versailles, and spending at least a whole day at the palace and in the city is really worth it, a visit to this museum is a treat. And if you’re lucky, you may even get to see the beautiful horses of the Academy of Equestrian Arts practising outside.
- Les Grandes Ecuries, avenue Rockefeller, 78000 Versailles
Take the RER C to Versailles Chateau, or train from St Lazare to Versailles rive Droite, then it’s a short walk.