Visit the Saint Louis district
Exploring the Saint Louis District is like a brief interlude through time. This part of Versailles, little-known to tourists, has preserved its 18th century architecture. In reality, it is two separate districts: Saint Louis District itself and Old Versailles, the historical heart of the city. Today, the area is full of passionate artisans, including cabinetmakers, costume designers and ceramicists, but also restorers, watchmakers and wood sculptors who have inherited expertise which has been passed down through the centuries.
Walk through the Saint-Louis district
As you stroll through the narrow streets of Old Versailles, you will undoubtedly fall for the undeniable charms of the neighborhood’s old houses. The homes here were built in the very center of the old village of Versailles acquired by King Louis XIII. As you wander around, you may come across the Recollects Convent, the Grand Commun built under Louis XIV or the old Office of Foreign Affairs. But the most symbolic place in Old Versailles remains the Real Tennis Room, where the Tennis Court Oath was sworn during the French Revolution which led to the abolition of the monarchy.
The Saint Louis District is home to the “Carrés Saint Louis”. These small houses were erected under the reign of Louis XV but were in reality a marketplace. Two decades later, a mansard roof was added to the tops of them. This picturesque location is now a protected Historical Monument and has gradually been restored to its original appearance.
A little further along, on Rue de l’Indépendance Américaine, you will discover the Cité Administrative, whose mission it is to preserve the memory of the public services under the monarchy. Lastly, the splendid Saint Louis Cathedral, built between 1743 and 1754, is a veritable masterpiece within majestic façades.