Having walked through the majestic main courtyard of the Royal Stables, you enter a disarming place of luxurious simplicity.
In close collaboration with the Palace of Versailles and the French equivalent of the National Trust, Bartabas entrusted the restoration of the Royal Stables to Patrick Bouchain, with whom he has built up a close and open working relationship over the years.
The ring has been designed like a theatre décor, a small showcase of untreated wood positioned on a layer of stone. Murano glass chandeliers and mirrors, in which horses and riders are reflected ad infinitum, make reference to the Hall of Mirrors. The simplicity of the materials and the assemblage of beams and planks recall the ephemeral constructions of the Versailles of yesteryear. The Farnese Theatre in Parma inspired the lights and the mobile architecture. Facing the tiers a dress circle and a ring of golden sand occupies two thirds of the surface.
The stables have been designed to take into account the harmony of the volumes and the constraints linked to the running of the academy as well as Bartabas’ demands linked to the horses’ wellbeing. Boxes have replaced the old stalls: very simple, elegant and spacious; and topped with vertical coiled lighting, a modern reference to unicorns.
All of these facilities have returned these buildings to their first vocation, equestrian activity, whilst preserving the beauty of the historical site built by Jules Hardouin-Mansart at the end of the 17th century to house the prestigious royal cavalry.
Since September 2013, a new manège in the main courtyard catches many curious eyes. A new workplace for the riders and their horses, the ring reflects the academy’s desire to assert its presence right in front of the Palace of Versailles and to seduce a broader public.
To discover the Grand Royal Stables :
Every performance of the Matinales des Ecuyers and “la Voie de l'Ecuyer” is followed by a free visit of the stables.
La Cour d'honneur
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