When I was 27, I took one of those three-week Trafalgar bus trips on an excursion across Western Europe: England, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria…I’m sure some of you have done it too.
While I got to see Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre museum, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, sadly I did not get an opportunity to go see a place I had always dreamed of visiting: the sprawling, ornate Palace of Versailles, once home to the Kings and Queens of France and the royal court.
If, like me, you always wanted to wander the halls and galleries of Versailles as a tourist, you will welcome a brand new release from Google Arts & Culture, titled VersaillesVR: The Palace Is Yours:
You can teleport around various rooms and halls in the famous palace, including the Hall of Mirrors, the Royal Chapel, and the Royal Opera House. A handy map of the palace on your left wrist lets you jump from one room to another in an instant! And no crowds; you get the entire palace to yourself!
I have only one complaint with this wonderful program. Oddly, there are no snap or smooth turns available to reorient yourself using your hand controllers! You will need to physically turn yourself around at times, which means that you can get tangled up in your VR headset cable, or have your back to your tracking stations! It’s a bit irritating. But other than that, I am overjoyed with this new app! You can spend hours exploring.
And the best part? It’s totally free!
VersaillesVR is available now as a free download from Steam, and it works with the Valve Index, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift VR headsets only. The experience requires a Windows 10 PC with 20GB of available storage and at least a NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU. VersaillesVR is available in French, English, or Chinese.
Le château de Versailles est à vous de découvrir!
The Palace of Versailles is yours to discover!