Documentary Resources

Visitors to Versailles Database

Access directly to the Visitors to Versailles Database (in French).

This database is part of the research programme “Court identities and the myth of Versailles in Europe: perception, adherence and rejection (18th-19th centuries)”, led by the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles, directed by Gérard Sabatier and coordinated by Flavie Leroux.

The aim of this tool is to list texts written by foreign travellers from all over Europe and beyond who have written about their own impressions of the estate, the Palace and the court of Versailles.
The chronological field covered will span from the reign of Louis XIV to the beginning of the 20th century with the aim of understanding the changing perspectives on Versailles from the time it became the centre of royal power to the time it became a testimony to the monarchical past.
The corpus that this creates therefore represent a research tool that will become an instrument for scientific appreciation, examining the spreading of the ‘myth of Versailles’ on a European scale.

This database is structured based on several thematic filters, including the author’s name, their country of origin, the period and dates of their visit, the places they visited, the characters they met and and the court activity witnessed (cf. “Warning”).
It comprises a variety of texts including both handwritten and printed memoirs, travel accounts, correspondence and newspapers.

Compiling this database meant scrutinising various resources, including online databases, journals and articles on the topic of travel, exhibition catalogues, conference proceedings, anthologies and monographs devoted to a particular place or type of traveller (cf. “Bibliography”). Recommendations from various specialists in the fields of travel and foreign courts were also taken on board when compiling the documentary collection (cf. “Acknowledgements”).

The database has been accessible since October 2019 through the resources portal of the Centre.

Publications around the database

  • « Visiteurs de Versailles, un panorama des regards portés depuis l’étranger sur Versailles et Marly », in the review Marly, art et patrimoine, n°14, 2020, p. 64-65.
Index of sources on our database (in French)
Website produced with the support of:
Château de Versailles
Conseil général des Yvelines