The marbles of Versailles
Exploited since Antiquity, Pyrenean marble saw a rise in popularity under Louis XIV thanks to the king’s fascination with this period. Sarrancolin, with its variety of veining and colours, was prized for its decorative aspect which was duly exploited.
It was used in decoration throughout Versailles from the Hercules Room, which is the most striking example, to the Hall of Mirrors and the salon in the Queen's Apartment.
A genuine “royal policy of French marble” developed in the 17th century. The quarries of Campan marble, known as “Grand Mélange”, continued to supply royal craftsmen and manufacturers until the end of the Ancien Régime. Easier to extract than Sarrancolin, Campan was used for the eight Ionic columns of the Trianon Peristyle.
The history of Pyrenean marble is closely linked to that of the Royal Crown. Other, less commonly exploited types of marble such as Brèche de Sauveterre, Petit Antique de Hèches (or Héchette) and Blanc de Saint-Béat were used for fireplaces, pavements, panelling and other decorative elements in the Palace. The Palace of Versailles wishes to revive this heritage today.
La Maison des Cailloux, the official supplier of the Palace, has been working with different Pyrenean, French and foreign marbles and stone since 1997. Recognised for its know-how, this craft company offers decorative elements that showcase the stone in all its forms.
Here you can see a small collection of items to decorate your interior and remind you of the world of Versailles.