Discover our local Gay Versailles Guide and insiders’ recommendations, for best gay bars, clubs, restaurants, museums, monuments, shopping …
Versailles is a bit like a Ceausescu Palace designed by queers.
The Palace is titanic, and when you see its endless facade for the first time, you will be amazed.
From Bavaria to Dubai, the Palace has been copied many times, but none could reproduce this unique mixture of rigor, power, refinement, and frivolity.
Versailles is a subtle blend of power and party.
Louis XIV, an embodiment of royal power, authority, and absolutism, used to wear high heels, wigs, ribbons, and outrageous make-up, like a drag queen ready to enter the stage.
The king loved music, dance, women, and senseless parties followed one another in the superb “Galerie des Glaces,” the Hall of Mirrors, which used to turn as a sort of royal disco.
Lully an Italian musician, and notorious
queer, was in charge of organizing those parties.
He was a sort of Cathy Getta of ancient times, and certainly as glamourous as she is.
The King’s brother, Philippe d’Orléans, called “Monsieur,” was also an extravagant bisexual, married to a bitchy German Princess called La Palatine.
From an early age, he was pushed to assume his homosexual tendencies, in order not to shade his brother.
He loved beautiful clothes, wigs, and ornaments and dressed as a woman whenever the opportunity arises. He had many lovers and maintained an affair for nearly 30 years with the Chevalier de Lorraine, a man known for both his great beauty and his treachery.
In general, and compared to the rest of Europe, the French court and society were pretty free regarding sexuality.
Louis XIV set an example, openly accumulating mistresses, and having twenty-two children with six different women.
The ceilings, walls, gardens of Versailles dripped with pairs of buttocks, pairs of tits, tight pecs and protruding muscles.
In short, aristocrats seem to spend their lives either naked having sex, or dancing with wigs, jewelry and platforms shoes. Versailles sounds cool.
However, sometimes as anywhere in Europe, “sodomites” could be persecuted. It was in 1750 that the last death sentence for sodomy was pronounced in France.
The legal condemnation of homosexuality will disappear in 1804 under Napoleon, with the drafting of the Civil Code, Cambaceres its chief editor having the good taste to be gay.
Talking about Versailles without mentioning the extravagant Marie-Antoinette is impossible. She alone sums up the tragic end of the French monarchy.
Young, in love with life, this party girl is said to have affairs with several men but also with her favorite girls friends, such as the Countess of Polignac or the Princess of Lamballe.
Le Petit Trianon, where she loved to take refuge, is a jewel of elegance and good taste in the French style.
The Queen’s Hamlet, which recreates a comfortable, clean, organized, sanitized countryside, illustrates the growing disconnection between royal power and the daily life of the population.
Away from Paris and far from real people, isolated for a full century in the perfect and artificial setting of Versailles, the aristocracy did not realize that the world was changing.
After the revolution, Versailles was rarely inhabited and became a museum in the 1830s. The following rulers considered wiser to settle in Paris, in the Louvre and Tuileries palaces to be closer to the population.
This queer place is just used sometimes for official events to impress foreign visitors such as Poutine or Trump.
Local tips to visit Versailles
Visiting Versailles can be a real nightmare, especially in summer, as the tourist’s crowd is enormous.
If you only have 2 or 3 days to visit Paris, do not come to Versailles, because between transportation, queues, crowd, etc you will face a horrific and stressing day.
Try better to visit in winter or weekday, and of course, buy your tickets in advance on the internet.
We advise you to spend a full day in Versailles.
After visiting the Castle, we recommend spending a long time in the gardens, which are merely splendid, whatever the season.
If you are brave enough, make a full walk around the Grand Canal. As you go deeper into the park, the crowd disappears, and you can see the castle in the distance in a very different way.
Do not leave Versailles without visiting the city that surrounds it, which is unfairly ignored by tourists.
On Rive Gauche area, you will discover the magnificent Cathedral of Saint Louis, preserved streets with their 18th-century facades, wrought iron balconies, porches, old doors … and great bars and restaurants.
On the Rive Droite area, go for a walk at the Versailles market, one of the most beautiful in France.
You can visit as well the Carriage Gallery, the Grandes and Petites Ecuries, famous for its equestrian shows.
Finally, if you have the opportunity, spend an evening in Versailles during the summer to see some special shows: fireworks, park lighten with candles, dance representations around the Neptune Basin.