Most people venture out to Versailles for the sole purpose of seeing the Château. And while it’s true that the Royal Palace of Versailles is well worth a look, if only to see the exterior and perfectly landscaped gardens, the rest of Versailles town is totally worth seeing as well! Wandering around the town, one of my absolute favourite spots was Musée Lambinet, a lovely little house museum situated around a twenty-minute walk from the train station.
Address: Musée Lambinet, 54, Boulevard de la Reine, 78000 Versailles
Originally a private mansion, Musée Lambinet was once home to the Lambinet family and is an old ‘hôtel particulier’, a type of mansion that was particularly popular among wealthy Parisians a few centuries ago. If you’re interested in seeing more of these palatial-like homes, one place where the Hôtel Particuliers are still prevalent is in Le Marais district of Paris, where many of them have now been transformed into house museums (such as the quirky Musée Carnavalet which details the history of Paris).
The Lambinet House itself was designed by Élie Blanchard in the mid to late 1800s and was positioned next to a now-drained lake. I can only imagine how beautiful the views must have been from the pretty bay windows.
Established in 1932, the museum was conceived with the purpose of telling the story of Versailles. Altogether, thirty-five lavish rooms are filled with works of art including photographs, furniture and plenty of paintings. If you’re a lover of the decorative arts and French architecture, then you’ve come to the right place! After all, you could easily spend a couple of hours strolling the corridors, admiring the furnishings and snapping the ornate gold mouldings of the ceiling. When I visited the museum mid-week at the end of Summer, I found the entire place to be eerily empty, and for a while, I was the only guest on the property!
After all, you could easily spend a couple of hours strolling the corridors, admiring the furnishings and snapping the ornate gold mouldings of the ceiling. When I visited the museum mid-week at the end of Summer, I found the entire place to be eerily empty, and for a while, I was the only guest on the property! At the end of your self-guided tour of the museum, there’s a lovely little seating area you can spend a little time in, all the while simultaneously admiring the garden.