Get thee to the Palace of Versailles this summer. The big daddy of French royal chateaux has a splendid summer program. Starting today, the work of contemporary artist Joana Vasconcelos will be showcased in the State Apartments and the gardens until September 30, 2012. Vasconcelos follows in the footsteps of other renowned artists like Jeff Koons and Xavier Veilhan, whose colorful art installations had tongues wagging in Paris. The famous Hall of Mirrors, for example, will be the setting for Joana Vasconcelos’s work entitled Marilyn, a giant pair of shoes made out of stainless steel pots and lids.
In the evening, the chateau will put on a spectacular fountain and light show. (Saturdays from 9:00 to 11:20 pm until September 1, 2012, then again on Friday, September 7, 2012. The ticket price is 23 euros per adult.) A musical fountains show also takes place during the day on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 12 noon and from 3:30 to 5:30 pm.
Looking for a spot for an aperitif before the night-time fountain and light show? The nearby Trianon Palace Versailles has a Garden Bar Lounge that serves up molecular cocktails.
Tip: Summer lines are notorious at Versailles, so it’s best to buy your tickets in advance and print them out at home. Note that the Paris Museum Pass—a nifty solution for art and culture buffs to get unlimited access to more than 60 museums over a specified period—also includes access to the palace of Versailles and the palaces of Trianon. Not included with the Paris Museum Pass: Admission to the musical fountains show.
Photo of artist Joana Vasconcelos’ work entitled Marilyn by Luís Vasconcelos / Unidade Infinita Projectos