Gallery of Coaches – it’s an exhibit that’s just outside of the Palace of Versailles. It’s free to attend or perhaps no one checked us for tickets. Or, maybe it’s included in your palace tour ticket. Either way, it’s worth the stop to check out all of these beautiful carriages. Some for travel, others for ceremonies – like funerals or coronations.
Gallery of Coaches
It’s a little hard to find – see the little sign on the second post from the right – that’s the entrance. We took a couple of wrong turns (only about 7 minutes out of the way – not a big deal) since it’s not well marked.
This one, as dark as it is, is my favourite. Used for the funeral of Louis XVIII it’s grand, black, and just so different.
The gallery opened in 1997 and is home to at least a dozen coaches. Some more beautiful than others. Check this one out.
I love how they added in the horses to make it more real and authentic. Imagine getting a flat in that? Ah, no. There was a video playing in the gallery explaining the reason why there are small wheels up front and larger ones in the back – it was heavily physics based and I wasn’t in a Sheldon Cooper mood.
The detail on this one? All that carving! So impressive. This one was used for Charles X coronation in 1825. All the bronze made is a very heavy carriage – almost 4 metric tonnes, that’s more than 8000 pounds. Wow. No way anyone could push that thing if it got stuck in the snow.
I had to Google how much our truck weights, just for reference. It’s about 5000 pounds. So ya, this coach is heavy. Almost unnecessarily so.
Overall, the Gallery of Coaches is well worth the visit. Make a day of visiting Versailles – grab lunch, tour the palace, people watch, check out the stables and this great exhibit. You’ll be happy you did.