A lovely Louis XV private mansion now houses Versailles' municipal museum. Built in 1751 by Joseph Porchon, a businessman, it was transferred in the Nineteenth Century to the Lambinet family, which bequeathed it to the city to install the municipal collections of works of art.
They had previously been held in the municipal library, the former Ministry of Foreign Affairs and of the Navy under Louis XV and Louis XVI, when they were called the Musée Jean Houdon. Since 1932, when the museum was extended to the building perpendicular to it, 35 rooms, including several which still have their original decorations, can be visited.
In particular, there is an especially rich group of objects relating to the French Revolution, a gift of of the learned Versailles resident, Charles Vatel; a delightful collection of Eighteenth Century decorative arts items: furniture, dinnerware, snuffboxes and miniatures, clocks, paintings, etc., as well as a great number of items related to the city's history: plans, ancient views, reminders of major local institutions, such as apothecary jars and silverware from the former Royal Hospital, or weapons from the Boutet factory, which was located in the Grand Commun...
After a phase reorganizing and deploying its collections, the Musée Lambinet reopened its doors on September 18, 2010. Three departments have been created to give this high quality collection its due :
• A fine arts department displaying Sixteenth to Twentieth Century paintings and sculptures
• A decorative arts department, recreating an Eighteenth Century apartment with its furnishings and paintings;
• A history department, where works about the history of the city of Versailles have been gathered, its role in the French Revolution in first shaping the Republic, in drafting human rights and in determining the principles underlying American Independence.
Since december 2010, a tea room is opened inside the museum on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 2pm to 5pm.
The Musée Lambinet is partially accessible to wheelchair occupants and there is an elevator available.
- Opening Hours - Monday to Sunday except Friday : 2pm-6pm - Closed on French bank holidays
- Prices - Full Price : 4 euros (free entrance every last Sunday of the month) - Reduced Price (groups of more than 10 people, 60+ year-old, large families, 18-25 year-old, students) : 2,5 euros - Guided tours for adults on appointment - Privilege Pass Card : 20 euros