What is this story of lighting in Versailles?

Apparently, Louis XIV is at the origin of the location of the eighth finals of the Coupe de France between Versailles (N2) and Toulouse (L2). The match would have been moved from Yvelines to Haute-Garonne supposedly because there is no need for light in the King’s bedroom at the Palace of Versailles, a stone’s throw from the stadium. The reality is a little different.

Around 3:30 p.m. on January 2, the turkey or capon barely swallowed up, the Versaillais rejoice when Thomas Léonard whistles the end of the round of 16 of the Coupe de France between them and La Roche-sur-Yon. Logic: for the first time in its history, the Yvelines club has reached the eighth stage. Especially since the formation of National 2 did it with the manner by sweeping 4-0 the Vendéens, residents of N3. A success which reflects the new ambitions of a recently restructured club with fivefold means compared to recent seasons. To invite themselves to the quarter-finals, FC Versailles will have to get rid of Toulouse, candidate for the rise in Ligue 1. Le Petit Poucet (with Bergerac) of the competition should even have received the Téfécé in its nice Montbauron stadium, which does not can hardly accommodate more than 7,500 souls. But last Friday the club announced “With great disappointment, especially for our fervent supporters” that finally the meeting “Will take place on Saturday January 29 at the Toulouse Stadium” .

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The Sun King’s light problems

The reason ? “The Montbauron stadium does not meet the standards of the competition, especially in the absence of lighting” , detail the Versaillais. Being scheduled for 4:30 p.m., the game will be played for the most part after dark. Without light, the party is less crazy. Why is the local enclosure without lighting? Then circulated this information from the Parisian like what “No light source should be visible from the King’s bedroom, within a radius of 5 kilometers” . The King’s bedroom being that of Louis XIV within the Palace of Versailles. Unfortunately, the aura of the monarch may well be important in France, and especially in Versailles, its whims of light have nothing to do with this relocation.

“Otherwise there would be no night lighting in the avenues next to the castle, nor Christmas lights. ”

“The Palace of Versailles being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it benefits from what is called visual protection. Both garden side and city side. New constructions must respond, within a perimeter of five kilometers, to visual respect. That is to say that there cannot be in this radius a building bar protruding, cranes, etc. which would distort the protection of the surroundings of the Palace of Versailles ” , we are told on the side of one of the most visited places in the territory. So what really poses a problem is not the lighting itself, “Otherwise there would be no night lighting in the avenues next to the castle, nor Christmas lights” , but the construction of possible lampposts. These should be final if they were to be installed, but “Would exceed since the stadium is in height and is directly opposite the castle. The constructions would be visible, even in broad daylight. ” At the same time, it is not the Sun King who is going to complain about the brightness.

It’s not the life of a castle yet

To remedy this problem, the Versailles club of course tried to negotiate with the FFF to still welcome the Toulouse. By moving the schedule for example, by playing at the beginning of the afternoon as against La Roche-sur-Yon in the sixteenths. But the federation and the broadcasters are sticking to their schedules, and this match must start at 4:30 p.m. Bar point. They tried to relocate the meeting closer, as in Créteil or Bondoufle, but “The club encountered many difficulties in the organization and management of such a meeting” . Recently appointed general manager of the team, Jean-Luc Arribart is already fed up with this royal-luminous controversy and “Above all, we would like us to stop talking about the Coupe de France and refocus fully on the championship, our number 1 objective” . The saddest thing in all this is that as long as he plays in this chamber, FC Versailles is condemned to play only during the day so as not to remain in the dark.

By Léo Tourbe
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