As most of the world stays home to curb the spread of COVID-19, several digital platforms have stepped up to offer online tours and livestreamed content to make the weeks of isolation go by easier.
Thanks to these, we are now able to do everything from visiting Tate Modern’s Andy Warhol retrospective to viewing the Northern Lights and watching iconic Montreux Jazz Festival performances — all without leaving the comfort of home. Our latest obsession? Google Arts & Culture’s virtual tours of Europe’s palaces.
From the opulent Palace of Versailles to the beautifully-preserved Sanssouci Palace in Germany, here are 4 of the largest and most majestic palaces in Europe to explore via virtual tours.
National Palace of Sintra in Portugal
How about a spring jaunt to Portugal? in the current context, the real deal is probably not an option, but you can come close with a few clicks. A jewel in the crown of Portuguese heritage, the Palace of Sintra is renowned for its Moorish decor and its singular silhouette with its two distinctive conical chimneys. With a little help from Google, you can take a tour of the centuries-old royal residence of the kings of Portugal, which was classed a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995.
The virtual visit starts here.
The Palace of Versailles
It is hard to refuse a stroll through the hall of mirrors. Even in the current lockdown, you can still wander through one of the most beautiful palaces in France without giving up the cosy comfort of your living room couch. Thanks to the miracle of virtual reality, you can saunter through the corridors of the former residence of Louis XIV, prance through the State Apartments and examine numerous works of art and furniture from all angles.
To embark on your visit download the application here.
Skokloster Castle in Sweden
Google has also made it possible to take a tour of Sweden’s Skokloster Castle, a magnificent example of Scandinavian baroque architecture, which was built on the shores of Lake Mälar in the 17the century.
The tour starts here.
Sanssouci in Germany
Renowned as the favourite residence of Frederick the Great, who would take refuge there with his dogs when he fled the pomp and circumstance of the Berlin court. The Prussian king loved this palace so much, he even left instructions that he should be buried there on the terrace next to his vineyard house. These instructions were finally implemented in 1991, a year after the palace was declared a UNESCO world heritage site.
The tour starts here.