Palace of Versailles

The enormous and elegant Palace of Versailles was built for King Louis XIV and was completed in 1682, after 21 years of construction. The purpose of building this palace was to move the french court out of Paris. The palace emphasizes King Louis XIV’s importance. King Louis XIV believed that he was very powerful and decided to call himself The Sun King.

This palace is an example of how the french were so extraordinary during the French Revolution. Currently the 67,000 square meter floor space property has 700 rooms with 2,153 windows. To put that into perspective that’s 12 American football fields. Not only is it gigantic, but also very beautiful inside. The design team was: Louis le Vau, Charles Le Brun and Andre le Notre. All who were famous architects and landscapers at the time.

One of the most notable rooms in the palace is the Hall of Mirrors. Many parties and agreements have occured in this room. For example, the treaty of versailles that ended World War I officially. One of the walls in the room has an entire wall covered in mirrors overlooking the 2,000 acre gardens. On the other side of the hall is 357 mirrors that catch the rising sun rays in the morning. This hall is to remind everyone about the Sun King, Louis XIV. In the morning, Louis XIV would walk through the Hall of Mirrors to go to his private chapel. This is quite a luxurious way to wake up in the morning for a king.

(This is how the Hall of Mirrors looks in the morning)

King Louis XIV wanted to leave a statement of his importance to the world by building the Palace of Versailles. Not only for himself but also to glorify the French monarchy and show their classism and power.

Discussion Question: What other artworks do you know were built for a respected person like a king?

Sources:

Château de Versailles. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ap-art-history/early-europe-and-colonial-americas/reformation-counter-reformation/a/chteau-de-versailles

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