Recently renovated to its original splendor, the Royal Opera at Versailles is fit for a king, and one can imagine the spectacles performed here over the centuries. But its history is a bit rockier than you might expect from a monarchy.
Louis XIV was the first to conceive of the idea of a dedicated performance space for royal performances in the late 17th century, but the ensuing historic troubles that plagued the monarchy meant that Louis XV put a stop to its construction. But that doesn't mean there were no shows at the palace. Instead, for every concert and performance, an entire theater was built from scratch and then dismantled.
Finally, faced with the spectacle that would be the wedding of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, the Dauphin's grandfather completed construction and is the Royal Opera house we know today.
Since its reopening in 2009 after extensive renovations, the palace administration has made a concerted effort to book a full suite of performances and programs each season, and with this new era brings the hope that generations to come will once again enjoy this historic space.