The Centre


The Aim of the Centre

The goal of the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles is to undertake research and organise training sessions on the sites and expressions of power such as those represented at Versailles and in other European courts during the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Centre takes all aspects of Court civilisation into consideration, from the methods of exercising power to the structure and functioning of court institutions and including the practices and attitudes in the courts of Europe, the movement of people and ideas, the development of arts and sciences, the design of the palaces and gardens, and the meanings of ceremonies, festivities and types of entertainment.

Like Versailles itself, research studies at the Centre are very diverse: fundamental and comparative, they are also documentary. The findings are disseminated in a number of ways and drawn on for concrete events such as exhibitions.

Missions of the Centre

Faced with the dispersion of works, the paucity of comparative studies and the institutional, thematic and geographic barriers between specialists, the Research Centre aspires to be a multidisciplinary and international meeting place, to bring together researchers and practitioners, to give unity to its own areas of study, to encourage new research and assure its dissemination.

More specifically, its missions are to:

  • provide access, as required, to places and collections, archives and documentation, at the Palace of Versailles,
  • promote access, as required, to nearby institutions (Archives départementales des Yvelines, the Bibliothèque municipale de Versailles, the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles, the École Nationale Supérieure du Paysage de Versailles and the Académie du spectacle équestre),
  • bring together external documentary resources and make them available to researchers by the most suitable means,
  • encourage, support and guide research programmes, and even create productions inspired by programmes of applied research, especially relating to entertainment, botany and cultural mediation,
  • contribute to education and training by organising meetings, seminars and in-depth study visits,
  • welcome young researchers as well as experienced ones, both from France and abroad,
  • ensure the widest dissemination of research through production (publications, multimedia, databases, etc) either by organising and/or participating in cultural activities (symposia, exhibitions, etc.),
  • promote and participate in innovative or experimental projects, particularly in new technologies,
  • develop cooperative activities at both the European and international level, including with members of the Network of European Royal Residences.


Initially under the direction of the Établissement public du château, du musée et du domaine national de Versailles (E.P.V.)

Set out in the master plan for the development of Grand Versailles, and reflecting the statutory objectives of the Public Establishment of Versailles (EPV), the creation of the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles was approved by the EPV’s Board of Directors on 26 November 2004. This initiative also falls within the framework of the master plan for research into the history of art and humanities drawn up by the directors of the Musées de France (D.M.F.).

… it then became a Public Interest Group

On 27 October 2006, the Research Centre gained its statutory independence from the E.P.V. with the order approving its founding agreement published in the 9 November edition of the Journal Officiel. The resulting structure, that of a public interest group, allows for the sharing of human, intellectual, material, financial, public and private resources that are necessary for the development of scientific research.

Consult the list of founding and associate members of the G.I.P. Centre de recherche du château de Versailles.

Sectors of activity

The Director of the Research Centre is Laurent Salomé, General curator for Heritage at the Palace of Versailles.

The activities are organised into five sectors led by the permanent staff of the Centre:

  • research”,
  • Academic courses and training
  • symposia and study days”,
  • publishing”,
  • documentary resources”.

Presentation brochure of the CRCV

See our presentation brochure

Website produced with the support of:
Château de Versailles
Conseil général des Yvelines