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As early as 1700, this opera house was treated to exceptionally sophisticated machinery devised by Arnoult. For banquets and formal receptions, the floor of the stalls and the circle could be raised level with the stage. The seating capacity of 700 could virtually be doubled by means of galleries set up on the stage. In the middle of the circle lies the royal box, fronted by a mobile grid and surrounded by an elegant alcove. A number of other boxes, also enclosed by grids, can be seen up above in the flies. The low-relief sculptures adorning the boxes were executed by Pajou; those in the dress circle represent the gods of Mount Olympus and those in the upper circle depict the signs of the Zodiac. Although initially reserved for members of the court, the opera house at Versailles was later used for lavish receptions such as for the official visits of the King of Sweden in 1784, Emperor Joseph II in 1777 and 1781, and Queen Victoria in 1855. Sessions of the National Assembly were held here between 1871 and 1875. On 30 January 1875, it was here that the Wallon Amendment was adopted, laying the foundations of the Third Republic. The most recent restoration was completed in 1957 and was marked by an official reception in honour of Queen Elizabeth II.

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