Virtually Versailles: A Digital Exploration

  • 04:23 PM, 29 Nov, 2018

(Singapore, 5th November 2018) From 30th November 2018 to 6th January 2019 at ION Orchard, explore the wonders and relive the splendors of the finest in French art, culture and history dating from the 17th century to its present-day marvel at Virtually Versailles. The highly immersive and interactive technology brings you on an exploration of the Palace of Versailles.

An initiative by the Palace of Versailles and ESSEC Business School, supported by the Michelin Corporate Foundation and in partnership with ION Orchard, Virtually Versailles makes its global debut in Singapore in celebration of the France-Singapore Year of Innovation (YOI) 2018. Conceptualised by Lumina Live!, Virtually Versailles is the world’s first exhibition to distill the grandeur of the historical landmark entirely through digital assets, yet retain its magnificence thanks to collaborations with technological partners like Google Arts & Culture.

Ms. Catherine Pégard, President of the Palace of Versaille noted: “Situated at the crossroads of Asia, Singapore is the perfect location to make our global debut of the Virtually Versailles travelling digital exhibition. This is the first time Versailles will be presenting its storied walls elevated by present day innovations. We hope to inspire a wanderlust to travel to Versailles with this contemporary cultural presentation of the palace like you have never seen before.” 

“Two years ago, ESSEC Business School engaged in a win-win partnership with the Palace of Versailles and since then our relations have continued to expand and even got stronger," said Mr. Vincenzo Esposito Vinzi, Dean and President ESSEC Business School. "Having a campus in Singapore and given our implication in the France-Singapore Year of Innovation (YOI) 2018 it was obvious for us that we had to be part of this innovative exhibition along with ION Orchard. It is going to be a great immersive experience using the latest technology combined with the beauty of art and culture. As part of our identity, we value the exceptional savoir-faire, which is a France’s major asset, and we are proud to contribute to its spread overseas.”

"Versailles is a revolutionary and immersive way for locals and visitors alike to learn more about France and the historic significance of the Palace of Versailles dating back to the 17th century. ION Orchard is honoured to be the location of choice for the experiential exhibition’s first foray into Asia across two of its signature venues – ION Art and ION Sky – that are the ideal sites in Orchard Road to showcase the full splendours of Versailles through various digital capabilities. Even better, shoppers and tourists visiting ION Orchard during the year-end festive season will have a breathtaking new experience to enjoy at the mall.” stated Ms. Yeo Mui Hong, Chief Executive of Orchard Turn Developments.

Exhibition Concepts and Content

Versailles’ Time Travel

Welcome to 17th century Versailles. Be greeted by a specially reconstructed voice message from King Louis XIV and explore the Palace from its humble beginnings as a hunting lodge for King Louis XIII, Louis XIV’s father, to the historical site that marked the end of the First World War in 1919 through 3D reconstructions of the Palace developped in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture. Be introduced to the historical figures who recognised the potential and beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage Site and uncover never-before-told tales of masked parties, experiments and ghosts.

Versailles’ Style

The Palace of Versailles continues to be recognised as the hallmark of French art since the 17th century. With a staggering collection of over 60,000 paintings, sculptures and works of art, the Palace of Versailles is the most expansive museum in the history of France. You will be introduced to the distinct flair of Versailles at an interactive multimedia gallery where you can browse in minute details, a selection of the masterpieces that were captured in ultra high resolution (Gigapixel) thanks to Art Camera technology by Google Arts & Culture. Get up close with “all the glories of France” and discover historical and iconographic insights into the great figures and events which shaped the history of the country from the 16th through to the 19th centuries. For the first time, you can hop on a bicycle and cycle through the Gardens of Versailles – virtually. Discover the open-air sculpture museum through footage taken from a first-person perspective on the actual grounds synchronised to every pedal. This one-of-a-kind experience makes for an unforgettable moment with a quintessential insta-shot. PS, if you’re thinking of recreating your Virtually Versailles experience when you visit the palace on your next holiday to Versailles, cycling on the actual palace grounds is strictly prohibited.

The Intimacy of Versailles

Explore the lesser known side of Versailles at an interactive projection wall and take a trip around the estate of Trianon. Follow the design evolution of the Palace of Flora from what was once called the Porcelain Trianon to the Marble Trianon - a highly sought-after favour that hosted the King’s intimate circle. Then explore the Petit Trianon and The Queen’s Hamlet that was to become Marie-Antoinette’s favourite place to escape the constraints and the rigid etiquette of the court at Versailles.

Versailles’ Splendours

Be blown away by the majestic grandeur of the estate with an intimate 360-degree virtual view of five Palace rooms, including the Royal Opera House which is only accessible during guided tours and shows in France. Surrounded by a room of LED walls and ceiling, venture into The Mercury Room, a historic turning point and where the coffin containing Louis XIV was displayed in 1715. Explore the Hall of Mirrors; The Gallery of Battles; and The Venus Room with the most Baroque decorations among all the State Apartments, with paintings depicting actions of great men or heroes that alluded to the deeds of Louis XIV.

Versailles’ Innovations

Get on the Express Lift where you can enjoy an immersive panoramic video of the actual Palace of Versailles from the ground up as you head on up to ION Sky for the last leg of your tour of the Palace of Versailles. At ION Sky, you will experience a day in Versailles with its fountain shows and magical fireworks shot on the Palace grounds specially for Virtually Versailles.

Be sure to take on the Virtual Reality Experience of Versailles where you will be invited to go on a unique and fully immersive experience on the Palace grounds thanks to technological partner.

Developed in collaboration with The Lab at Google Arts & Culture in Paris, “Versailles VR – The Palace Is Yours” is a new immersive experience which allows visitors to discover the Palace like never before. You can wander alone in its most iconic rooms and get a close-up view of the hundreds of paintings, art objects and sculptures, which have been fully digitized and reconstituted in 3D with the aid of photogrammetry.

With the Orange Foundation, history comes to life as you interact with members of the French Court who will take you on a visit to the Siam Embassy in 1686 or the most famous masked ball in the history of Versailles – The Yew Ball, in February 1745. Capture this virtual time travel to 17th century Versailles at the photobooth and have your “royal” portraits taken in the likeness of the French Kings and Queens of the bygone era.

Bridging Heritage and Modernity Conference by ESSEC Business School

To round up your educational exploration of French culture, history and art, ESSEC Business School will also be conducting a two-day conference that will discuss the paradoxes of managing heritage in the modern world. Find out what it takes to strike a balance between staying true to tradition and heritage whilst reinventing to remain relevant today for the modern consumer. The exclusive conference will be delivered via two panel discussions scheduled for 30 November 2018 and 10 December 2018.

The first session which will be held on 30 November 2018 is a by-invite-only panel discussion titled “Managing Heritage & Exceptional Savoir-faire in a Modern and Digital Era”. The session will be moderated by Professor Simon Nyeck, chaired Professor in “Savoir-Faire d’Exception Management” and Director of the Centre of Excellence in Luxury, Arts and Culture.

The second session which will be a public panel session titled “Heritage and Innovation”. The session will be held on 10 December 2018 and will be moderated by Professor Xavier Pavie, Academic Director Master in Management in Singapore and director of iMagination Center. The three-speaker panel discussion will delve into the challenges facing the preservation of heritage. The session aims to kick-start a creative process that fosters innovation within diverse teams including the curators, but also the engineers, designers and marketers that work within the industry of heritage conservation. Registration for the “Heritage and Innovation” panel discussion will be open from 1 November 2018 via

Singapore marks the first stop in Asia of the travelling Virtually Versailles exhibition. This highly immersive and interactive exhibition will take place at ION Art and ION Sky, from 30th November 2018 to 6th January 2019.

Win a trip to Versailles!

For an even more compelling reason to visit Virtually Versailles, you can also stand a chance to win a pair of round-trip Economy class tickets on Air France to visit Versailles, a 2-day passport ticket for 2 people to visit the Palace of Versailles provided by the Palace of Versailles and a one-night stay in a Versailles hotel! (Terms and conditions apply) Here are the contest details: 1. Visit Virtually Versailles in Singapore and take your best photo, capturing your favourite spot in the exhibit. 2. Share the image on your Instagram account and tell us why you want to visit the real Versailles, tagging a friend whom you'd like to bring with you. Make sure to set your profile on public. 3. Follow @chateauversailles and @airfrance on Instagram and tag them in the photo. 4. Remember to also include the hashtag - #VirtuallyVersaillesxAirFrance #VirtuallyVersaillesSG #AirFrance #FlyMeToVersailles 5. The most compelling post will be chosen by Palace of Versailles at the end of the competition.

Entry is free and all are welcome! For more information, please visit,

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