Built between 1679 and 1682 by J. Hardouin-Mansart, the Grande Écurie housed the King’s saddle-horses, which were used for hunting and for war. From the reign of Louis XIV its indoor school was used as a theatre and its courtyard as an arena for equestrian displays.
Today it houses the Bartabas Equestrian Art Academy, founded by Bartabas in 2003, a fine carriage museum and also the Versailles Local Archives: the latter, where such treasures as the parish registers of the church of Notre-Dame are stored (which include the birth, marriage and death certificates of the royal family), are open to the public.
The buildings with their sculpted facades surrounding the horseshoe-shaped courtyard are truly a temple to the horse. They once held the king's saddle horses and the riding school where pages were trained. These were young people from the provincial nobility who came to receive the necessary training to become officers in the royal armies. But along with learning the profession of arms, they learned how to be perfect gentlemen: horse-riding, fencing, dance, music, drawing, etc. All arts which today's horsemen must acquire to become equestrian performers.
New : the public is invited into the buildings remodeled by the architect Patrick Bouchain to watch the daily workouts and performances given at the riding school, and to visit the magnificent galleries where horses, once again, are in their glory.
This performance and training site welcomes horsemen from around the world who come to work under Bartabas' patient, passionate leadership.
The Academy is partially accessible to people in wheelchairs. An elevator is available for accessing the bleachers.
- Events - 2014 program (in French)
- Prices - Full Price : 25 euros - Reduced Price : 22 euros - Children under 12 : 16 euros