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His reign of 72 years and days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. Louis began his personal rule of France in , after the death of his chief minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. He sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling many members of the nobility to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles , succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis' minority. By these means he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution. He also enforced uniformity of religion under the Gallican Catholic Church. His revocation of the Edict of Nantes abolished the rights of the Huguenot Protestant minority and subjected them to a wave of dragonnades , effectively forcing Huguenots to emigrate or convert, and virtually destroying the French Protestant community. There were also two lesser conflicts: the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions.

In this way, he aimed to decrease foreign imports while increasing French exports, hence reducing the net outflow of precious metals from France. They helped to curb - thefoodlumscatering.com spirit of the nobility, imposing order on them at court and in the army. Gone were the days when generals protracted war at the frontiers while bickering over precedence and ignoring orders from the capital and the larger politico-diplomatic picture. Louvois, in particular, pledged to modernize the army and re-organize it into a professional, disciplined, well-trained force.

He was devoted to the soldiers' material well-being and morale, and even tried to direct campaigns. Legal matters did not escape Louis' attention, as is reflected in the numerous " Great Ordinances " he enacted. Pre-revolutionary France was a patchwork of legal systems, with as many legal customs as there were provinces, and two co-existing legal traditions- customary law in the north and Roman civil law in the south.

Among other things, it prescribed baptismal, marriage and death records in the state's registers, not the church's, and it strictly regulated the right of the Parlements to remonstrate. One of Louis' more infamous decrees was the Grande Ordonnance sur les Colonies ofalso known as the Code Noir "black code".

Although it sanctioned slavery, it attempted to humanise the practice by prohibiting the separation of families. Additionally, in the colonies, only Roman Catholics could own slaves, and these had to be baptised. The War of Devolution did not focus on the payment of the dowry, rather, the lack of payment was what Louis XIV used as a pretext for nullifying Maria Theresa's renunciation of her claims, allowing the land to "devolve" to him. In Brabant the location of the land in disputechildren of first marriages traditionally were not disadvantaged by their parents' remarriages and still inherited property.

Thus, Brabant allegedly "devolved" to Maria Theresa. This excuse allowed France to attack the Spanish Netherlands. Johan de WittDutch Grand Pensionary from toviewed them as crucial for Dutch security and against his domestic Orangist opponents. Louis provided support in the Second Anglo-Dutch War but used the opportunity to launch the War of Devolution in The threat of an escalation and a secret treaty to divide Spanish possessions with Emperor Leopol the other major claimant to the throne of Spain, led Louis to relinquish many of his gains in the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.

Louis placed little reliance on his agreement with Leopold and as it was now clear French and Dutch aims were in direct conflict, he decided to first defeat the Republicthen seize the Spanish Netherlands.

Leopold viewed French expansion into the Rhineland as an increasing threat, especially after their seizure of the strategic Duchy of Lorraine in The prospect of Dutch defeat led Leopold to an alliance with Brandenburg-Prussia on 23 June, followed by another with the Republic on 25th. The French alliance was deeply unpopular in England, who made peace with the Dutch in the February Treaty of Westminster. Reforms introduced by Louvoisthe Secretary of Warhelped maintain large field armies that could be mobilised much quicker, allowing them to mount offensives in early spring before their opponents were ready.

Bymutual exhaustion led to the Treaty of Nijmegenwhich was generally settled in France's favour and allowed Louis to intervene in the Scanian War. Despite military defeat, his ally Sweden regained much of their losses under the treaties of Saint-Germain-en-LayeFontainebleau and Lund imposed on Denmark-Norway and Brandenburg. Louis was at the height of his power, but at the cost of uniting his opponents; this increased as he continued his expansion. Inhe dismissed his foreign minister Simon Arnauld, marquis de Pomponnebecause he was seen as having compromised too much with the allies.

Louis maintained the strength of his army, but in his next series of territorial claims avoided using military force alone.

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Rather, he combined it with legal pretexts in his efforts to augment the boundaries of his kingdom. Contemporary treaties were intentionally phrased ambiguously. Louis established the Chambers of Reunion to determine the full extent of his rights and obligations under those treaties.

Cities and territories, such as Luxembourg and Casalewere prized for their strategic positions on the frontier and access to important waterways. Louis also sought Strasbourgan important strategic crossing on the left bank of the Rhine and theretofore a Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empireannexing it and other territories in Although a part of Alsace, Strasbourg was not part of Habsburg-ruled Alsace and was thus not ceded to France in the Peace of Westphalia.

Following these annexations, Spain declared war, precipitating the War of the Reunions. However, the Spanish were rapidly defeated because the Emperor distracted by the Great Turkish War abandoned them, and the Dutch only supported them minimally.

By the Truce of RatisboninSpain was forced to acquiesce in the French occupation of most of the conquered territories, for 20 years.

This poor public opinion was compounded by French actions off the Barbary Coast and at Genoa. First, Louis had Algiers and Tripolitwo Barbary pirate strongholds, bombarded to obtain a favourable treaty and the liberation of Christian slaves. Next, ina punitive mission was launched against Genoa in retaliation for its support for Spain in previous wars. Although the Genoese submitted, and the Doge led an official mission of apology to Versailles, France gained a reputation for brutality and arrogance.

European apprehension at growing French might and the realisation of the extent of the dragonnades ' effect discussed below led many states to abandon their alliance with France.

French colonies multiplied in Africa, the Americas, and Asia during Louis' reign, and French explorers made important discoveries in North America. Throughout these regions Louis and Colbert embarked on an extensive program of architecture and urbanism meant to reflect the styles of Versailles and Paris and the 'gloire' of the realm. Meanwhile, diplomatic relations were initiated with distant countries.

From farther afield, Siam dispatched an embassy inreciprocated by the French magnificently the next year under Alexandre, Chevalier de Chaumont. This, in turn, was succeeded by another Siamese embassy under Kosa Pansuperbly received at Versailles in However, the death of Narai, King of Ayutthayathe execution of his pro-French minister Constantine Phaulkonand the Siege of Bangkok in ended this era of French influence. France also attempted to participate actively in Jesuit missions to China.

By the early s, Louis had greatly augmented French influence in the world. Domestically, he successfully increased the influence of the crown and its authority over the church and aristocracy, thus consolidating absolute monarchy in France. Louis initially supported traditional Gallicanismwhich limited papal authority in France, and convened an Assembly of the French clergy in November Before its dissolution eight months later, the Assembly had accepted the Declaration of the Clergy of Francewhich increased royal authority at the expense of papal power.

Without royal approval, bishops could not leave France, and appeals could not be made to the Pope. Additionally, government officials could not be excommunicated for acts committed in pursuance of their duties. Although the king could not make ecclesiastical law, all papal regulations without royal assent were invalid in France.

Unsurprisingly, the pope repudiated the Declaration. By attaching nobles to his court at Versailles, Louis achieved increased control over the French aristocracy. Apartments were built to house those willing to pay court to the king. With his excellent memory, Louis could then see who attended him at court and who was absent, facilitating the subsequent distribution of favours and positions.

Another tool Louis used to control his nobility was censorship, which often involved the opening of letters to discern their author's opinion of the government and king. Louis' extravagance at Versailles extended far beyond the scope of elaborate court rituals. In the king of Portugal sent an elephant from the kingdom of Congo to the king of France.

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It was seventeen years old and measured six and a half feet from the ground to the top of its back. The elephant lived in the menagerie at Versailles for thirteen years and only grew a further foot, no doubt because the change in climate and food had stunted its growth; so it measured just seven and a half feet when the gentlemen of the Royal Academy of Sciences carried out their description of it.

This, along with the prohibition of private armies, prevented them from passing time on their own estates and in their regional power bases, from which they historically waged local wars and plotted resistance to royal authority. In their place, Louis raised commoners or the more recently ennobled bureaucratic aristocracy the "nobility of the robe".

He judged that royal authority thrived more surely by filling high executive and administrative positions with these men because they could be more easily dismissed than nobles of ancient lineage, with entrenched influence. It is believed that Louis' policies were rooted in his experiences during the Frondewhen men of high birth readily took up the rebel cause against their king, who was actually the kinsman of some. This victory of Louis' over the nobility may have then in fact ensured the end of major civil wars in France until the French Revolution about a century later.

In France was the leading European power, and most of the wars pivoted around its aggressiveness. Only poverty-stricken Russia exceeded it in population, and no one could match its wealth, central location, and very strong professional army.

It had largely avoided the devastation of the Thirty Years' War. Its weaknesses included an inefficient financial system that was hard-pressed to pay for all the military adventures, and the tendency of most other powers to gang up against it.

Impelled "by a mix of commerce, revenge, and pique," Louis sensed that warfare was the ideal way to enhance his glory. What's more, most countries, both Protestant and Catholic, were in alliance against it.

VaubanFrance's leading military strategist, warned the king in that a hostile "Alliance" was too powerful at sea.

He recommended the best way for France to fight back was to license French merchants ships to privateer and seize enemy merchant ships, while avoiding its navies:. It has traditionally been suggested that the devout Madame de Maintenon pushed Louis to persecute Protestants and revoke the Edict of Nanteswhich awarded Huguenots political and religious freedom, but her influence in the matter is now being questioned.

An additional factor in Louis' thinking was the prevailing contemporary European principle to assure socio-political stability, cuius regio, eius religio "whose realm, his religion"the idea that the religion of the ruler should be the religion of the realm as originally confirmed in central Europe in the Peace of Augsburg of Responding to petitions, Louis initially excluded Protestants from office, constrained the meeting of synodsclosed churches outside of Edict-stipulated areas, banned Protestant outdoor preachers, and prohibited domestic Protestant migration.

He also disallowed Protestant-Catholic intermarriages to which third parties objected, encouraged missions to the Protestants, and rewarded converts to Catholicism. InLouis dramatically increased his persecution of Protestants.

The principle of cuius regio, eius religio generally had also meant that subjects who refused to convert could emigrate, but Louis banned emigration and effectively insisted that all Protestants must be converted. Although this was within his legal rights, the dragonnades inflicted severe financial strain on Protestants and atrocious abuse.

Betweenan Huguenots converted, as this entailed financial rewards and exemption from the dragonnades. On 15 OctoberLouis issued the Edict of Fontainebleauwhich cited the redundancy of privileges for Protestants given their scarcity after the extensive conversions.

The Edict of Fontainebleau revoked the Edict of Nantes and repealed all the privileges that arose therefrom. No further churches were to be constructed, and those already existing were to be demolished.

Pastors could choose either exile or a secular life. Those Protestants who had resisted conversion were now to be baptised forcibly into the established church.

Writers have debated Louis' reasons for issuing the Edict of Fontainebleau. He may have been seeking to placate Pope Innocent XIwith whom relations were tense and whose aid was necessary to determine the outcome of a succession crisis in the Electorate of Cologne. He may also have acted to upstage Emperor Leopold I and regain international prestige after the latter defeated the Turks without Louis' help.

Otherwise, he may simply have desired to end the remaining divisions in French society dating to the Wars of Religion by fulfilling his coronation oath to eradicate heresy. Many historians have condemned the Edict of Fontainebleau as gravely harmful to France. On the other hand, there are historians who view this as an exaggeration. They argue that most of France's preeminent Protestant businessmen and industrialists converted to Catholicism and remained.

What is certain is that reaction to the Edict was mixed. Protestants across Europe were horrified at the treatment of their co-religionists, but most Catholics in France applauded the move.

Nonetheless, it is indisputable that Louis' public image in most of Europe, especially in Protestant regions, was dealt a severe blow. In the end, however, despite renewed tensions with the Camisards of south-central France at the end of his reign, Louis may have helped ensure that his successor would experience fewer instances of the religion-based disturbances that had plagued his forebears.

French society would sufficiently change by the time of his descendant, Louis XVIto welcome tolerance in the form of the Edict of Versaillesalso known as the Edict of Tolerance. This restored to non-Catholics their civil rights and the freedom to worship openly. The War of the League of Augsburgwhich lasted from toinitiated a period of decline in Louis' political and diplomatic fortunes.

The conflict arose from two events in the Rhineland. All that remained of his immediate family was Louis' sister-in-law, Elizabeth Charlotte. German law ostensibly barred her from succeeding to her brother's lands and electoral dignity, but it was unclear enough for arguments in favour of Elizabeth Charlotte to have a chance of success.

Conversely, the princess was clearly entitled to a division of the family's personal property. Louis pressed her claims to land and chattels, hoping the latter, at least, would be given to her.

The archbishopric had traditionally been held by the Wittelsbachs of Bavaria.

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However, the Bavarian claimant to replace Maximilian Henry, Prince Joseph Clemens of Bavariawas at that time not more than 17 years old and not even ordained.

In light of his foreign and domestic policies during the early s, which were perceived as aggressive, Louis' actions, fostered by the succession crises of the late s, created concern and alarm in much of Europe. Their stated intention was to return France to at least the borders agreed to in the Treaty of Nijmegen.

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Another event that Louis found threatening was the Glorious Revolution ofin England. However, when James II's son James was born, he took precedence in the succession over his elder sisters.

This seemed to herald an era of Catholic monarchs in England. He sailed for England with troops despite Louis' warning that France would regard it as a provocation. Witnessing numerous desertions and defections, even among those closest to him, James II fled England. Parliament declared the throne vacant, and offered it to James's daughter Mary II and his son-in-law and nephew William. Before this happened, Louis expected William's expedition to England to absorb his energies and those of his allies, so he dispatched troops to the Rhineland after the expiry of his ultimatum to the German princes requiring confirmation of the Truce of Ratisbon and acceptance of his demands about the succession crises.

This military manoeuvre was also intended to protect his eastern provinces from Imperial invasion by depriving the enemy army of sustenance, thus explaining the pre-emptive scorched earth policy pursued in much of southwestern Germany the "Devastation of the Palatinate".

His triumphs at the Battles of Fleurus inSteenkerque inand Landen in preserved northern France from invasion. Although an attempt to restore James II failed at the Battle of the Boyne inFrance accumulated a string of victories from Flanders in the north, Germany in the east, and Italy and Spain in the south, to the high seas and the colonies. Louis personally supervised the captures of Mons in and Namur in Luxembourg gave France the defensive line of the Sambre by capturing Charleroi in France also overran most of the Duchy of Savoy after the battles of Marsaglia and Staffarde in While naval stalemate ensued after the French victory at the Battle of Beachy Head in and the Allied victory at Barfleur-La Hougue inthe Battle of Torroella in exposed Catalonia to French invasion, culminating in the capture of Barcelona.

Louis XIV ordered the surprise destruction of a Flemish city to divert the attention of these troops. This led to the bombardment of Brusselsin which buildings were destroyed, including the entire city-center. The strategy failed, as Namur fell three weeks later, but harmed Louis XIV's reputation: a century later, Napoleon deemed the bombardment "as barbarous as it was useless.

Peace was broached by Sweden in Byboth sides evidently wanted peace, and secret bilateral talks began, but to no avail. Thereafter, members of the League of Augsburg rushed to the peace table, and negotiations for a general peace began in earnest, culminating in the Treaty of Ryswick of By manipulating their rivalries and suspicions, Louis divided his enemies and broke their power. The treaty yielded many benefits for France. Louis secured permanent French sovereignty over all of Alsace, including Strasbourg, and established the Rhine as the Franco-German border which persists to this day.

However, he returned Catalonia and most of the Reunions. French military superiority might have allowed him to press for more advantageous terms. Thus, his generosity to Spain with regard to Catalonia has been read as a concession to foster pro-French sentiment and may ultimately have induced King Charles II to name Louis' grandson Philip, Duke of Anjouas heir to the throne of Spain. Lorrainewhich had been occupied by the French sincewas returned to its rightful Duke Leopol albeit with a right of way to the French military.

The Dutch were given the right to garrison forts in the Spanish Netherlands that acted as a protective barrier against possible French aggression. Though in some respects, the Treaty of Ryswick may appear a diplomatic defeat for Louis since he failed to place client rulers in control of the Palatinate or the Electorate of Cologne, he did in fact fulfill many of the aims laid down in his ultimatum.

By the time of the Treaty of Ryswick, the Spanish succession had been a source of concern to European leaders for well over forty years. He produced no children, however, and consequently had no direct heirs. The principal claimants to the throne of Spain belonged to the ruling families of France and Austria.

Based on the laws of primogenitureFrance had the better claim as it originated from the eldest daughters in two generations. However, their renunciation of succession rights complicated matters. In the case of Maria Theresa, nonetheless, the renunciation was considered null and void owing to Spain's breach of her marriage contract with Louis. This agreement divided Spain's Italian territories between Louis's son le Grand Dauphin and the Archduke Charles, with the rest of the empire awarded to Joseph Ferdinand.

William III consented to permitting the Dauphin's new territories to become part of France when the latter succeeded to his father's throne. Inhe re-confirmed his will that named Joseph Ferdinand as his sole successor. Six months later, Joseph Ferdinand died.

The Dauphin would receive all of Spain's Italian territories. On his deathbed inCharles II unexpectedly changed his will. The clear demonstration of French military superiority for many decades before this time, the pro-French faction at the court of Spain, and even Pope Innocent XII convinced him that France was more likely to preserve his empire intact.

He thus offered the entire empire to the Dauphin's second son Philip, Duke of Anjou, provided it remained undivided. Anjou was not in the direct line of French succession, thus his accession would not cause a Franco-Spanish union. If the Duke of Berry declined it, it would go to the Archduke Charles, then to the distantly related House of Savoy if Charles declined it.

Louis was confronted with a difficult choice. He might agree to a partition of the Spanish possessions and avoid a general war, or accept Charles II's will and alienate much of Europe. Initially, Louis may have been inclined to abide by the partition treaties. However, the Dauphin's insistence persuaded Louis otherwise. He emphasised that, should it come to war, William III was unlikely to stand by France since he "made a treaty to avoid war and did not intend to go to war to implement the treaty".

Eventually, therefore, Louis decided to accept Charles II's will. Most European rulers accepted Philip as king, though some only reluctantly. Depending on one's views of the war as inevitable or not, Louis acted reasonably or arrogantly. Admittedly, he may only have been hypothesising a theoretical eventuality and not attempting a Franco-Spanish union. But his actions were certainly not read as being disinterested.

InPhilip transferred the asiento the right to supply slaves to Spanish colonies to France, alienating English traders.

These actions enraged Britain and the Dutch Republic. Even before war was officially declared, hostilities began with Imperial aggression in Italy. When finally declared, the War of the Spanish Succession would last almost until Louis's death, at great cost to him and the kingdom of France. The war began with French successes, however the joint talents of John Churchill, Duke of Marlboroughand Eugene of Savoy checked these victories and broke the myth of French invincibility.

The duo allowed the Palatinate and Austria to occupy Bavaria after their victory at the Battle of Blenheim. The impact of this victory won the support of Portugal and Savoy. Marlborough and Eugene of Savoy met again at the Battle of Oudenardewhich enabled them to mount an invasion of France.

Defeats, famine, and mounting debt greatly weakened France. Between an over two million people died in two faminesmade worse as foraging armies seized food supplies from the villages. By the winter of - Louis was willing to accept peace at nearly any cost. He agreed that the entire Spanish empire should be surrendered to the Archduke Charles, and he also consented to return to the frontiers of the Peace of Westphalia, giving up all the territories he had acquired over sixty years of his reign.

He could not speak for his grandson, however, and could not promise that Philip V would accept these terms. Thus, the Allies demanded that Louis single-handedly attack his own grandson to force these terms on him. If he could not achieve this within the year, the war would resume. Louis could not accept these terms. The final phases of the War of the Spanish Succession demonstrated that the Allies could not maintain the Archduke Charles in Spain just as surely as France could not retain the entire Spanish inheritance for King Philip V.

The Allies were definitively expelled from central Spain by the Franco-Spanish victories at the Battles of Villaviciosa and Brihuega in French forces elsewhere remained obdurate despite their defeats.

The Allies suffered a Pyrrhic victory at the Battle of Malplaquet with 21, casualties, twice that of the French. French military successes near the end of the war took place against the background of a changed political situation in Austria. Inthe Emperor Leopold I died. His elder son and successor, Joseph Ifollowed him in His heir was none other than the Archduke Charles, who secured control of all of his brother's Austrian land holdings. If the Spanish empire then fell to him, it would have resurrected a domain as vast as that of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in the sixteenth century.

To the maritime powers of Great Britain and the Dutch Republic, this would have been as undesirable as a Franco-Spanish union. Britain kept Gibraltar and Menorca. Britain gained most from the Treaty of Utrecht, but the final terms were much more favourable to France than those which were being discussed in peace negotiations in and Thanks to Louis, his allies the Electors of Bavaria and Cologne were restored to their pre-war status and returned their lands. Louis and his wife Maria Theresa of Spain had six children from the marriage contracted for them in However, only one child, the eldest, survived to adulthood: Louis, le Grand Dauphinknown as Monseigneur.

Maria Theresa died inwhereupon Louis remarked that she had never caused him unease on any other occasion. Despite evidence of affection early on in their marriage, Louis was never faithful to Maria Theresa.

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He took a series of mistresses, both official and unofficial. Through these liaisons, he produced numerous illegitimate children, most of whom he married to members of cadet branches of the royal family. He has had a few high-profile relationships - from to he was in a relationship with Swedish model Kajsa Mohammar, and the couple even became engaged, however, they broke up before sharing their wedding vows.

Merry Christmas Eve x pic. Since then, Alexander has continued on with his love life, and is currently in a romantic relationship with singer and actress Lauren Samuels. In her childhood, Lauren had problems with hearing, and had to use two hearing aids, but luck smiled upon her, and her hearing recovered completely by the age of She also studied acting at the Guildford School of Acting, from which she graduated in Your email address will not be published.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Additionally, this project, which took over seven years to achieve,has required several hundred kilograms of silver and gold to complete. One part of the initiative, the restoration of the Hall of Mirrorswas completed in The Palace of Versailles is owned by the French state. Its formal title is the Public Establishment of the Palace, Museum and National Estate of Versailles Sinceit has been run as a Public Establishment, with an independent administration and management supervised by the French Ministry of Culture.

Plan of the main floor c. The facade facing the garden, with the royal apartments and the Gallery of Mirrors between them [ citation needed ]. The Palace of Versailles offers a visual history of French architecture from the 17th century to the end of the 18th century.

It then became grander and more monumental, with the addition of the colonnades and flat roofs of the new royal apartments in the French classical or Louis XIV styleas designed by Louis Le Vau and later Jules Hardouin-Mansart. The palace was largely completed by the death of Louis XIV in The eastern facing palace has a U-shaped layout, with the corps de logis and symmetrical advancing secondary wings terminating with the Dufour Pavilion on the south and the Gabriel Pavilion to the north, creating an expansive cour d'honneur known as the Royal Court Cour Royale.

Built of red brick and cut stone embellishments, the U-shaped layout surrounds a black-and-white marble courtyard. In the center, a 3-storey avant-corps fronted with eight red marble columns supporting a gilded wrought-iron balcony is surmounted with a triangle of lead statuary surrounding a large clock, whose hands were stopped upon the death of Louis XIV.

Atop the mansard slate roof are elaborate dormer windows and gilt lead roof dressings that were added by Hardouin-Mansart in - Inspired by the architecture of baroque Italian villas, but executed in the French classical style, the garden front and wings were encased in white cut ashlar stone known as the enveloppe in by Le Vau and modified by Hardouin-Mansart in - The attic storey has square windows and pilasters and crowned by a balustrade bearing sculptured trophies and flame pots dissimulating a flat roof.

The grands appartements Grand Apartments, also referred to as the State Apartments [50] include the grand appartement du roi and the grand appartement de la reine. Le Vau's design for the state apartments closely followed Italian models of the day, including the placement of the apartments on the main floor the piano nobilethe next floor up from the ground levela convention the architect borrowed from Italian palace design. The king's State Apartment consisted of an enfilade of seven rooms, each dedicated to one of the known planets and their associated titular Roman deity.

The queen's apartment formed a parallel enfilade with that of the grand appartement du roi. After the addition of the Hall of Mirrors - the king's apartment was reduced to five rooms until the reign of Louis XV, when two more rooms were added and the queen's to four.

Before entering the King's State Apartments, one had to climb the Ambassadors Staircase - a suitable entrance as its magnificence matched the grandness of the apartments. The Ambassadors Staircase Escalier des Ambassadeurs was built in but was finished in The staircase incorporates allegories of the Four Parts of the World on the vault and representation of crowds of foreign visitors on the walls.

The construction of the Hall of Mirrors between and coincided with a major alteration to the State Apartments.

They were originally intended as his residence, but the King transformed them into galleries for his finest paintings, and venues for his many receptions for courtiers. During the season from All-Saints Day in November until Easterthese were usually held three times a week, from six to ten in the evening, with various entertainments.

This was originally a chapel. This salon was used for serving light meals during evening receptions. On the ceiling in a gilded oval frame is another painting by Houasse, Venus subjugating the Gods and Powers Trompe l'oeil paintings and sculpture around the ceiling illustrate mythological themes. The bed is a replica of the original commissioned by King Louis-Philippe in the 19th century when he turned the Palace into a Museum.

The ceiling paintings by the Flemish artist Jean Baptiste de Champaigne depicts the god Mercury in his chariot, drawn by a rooster, and Alexander the Great and Ptolemy surrounded by scholars and philosophers.

The Salon of Mars was used by the royal guards untiland was decorated on a military theme with helmets and trophies. It was turned into a concert room between an with galleries for musicians on either side. The eight-foot high silver throne was melted down in to help pay the costs of an expensive war, and was replaced by a more modest throne of gilded wood. The central painting on the ceiling, by Charles de la Fossedepicts the Sun Chariot of Apollothe King's favorite emblem, pulled by four horses and surrounded by the four seasons.

The Salon of Diana was used by Louis XIV as a billiards room, and had galleries from which courtiers could watch him play. The decoration of the walls and ceiling depicts scenes from the life of the goddess Diana. The celebrated bust of Louis XIV by Bernini made during the famous sculptor's visit to France inis on display here.

The apartments of the King were the heart of the chateau; they were in the same location as the rooms of Louis XIII, the creator of the chateau, on the first floor second floor US style.

Alexander Vlahos is a Welsh actor who achieved fame as Philippe, Duke of Orleans in the TV historical drama series "Versailles" , and is also known to the world as Mordred in the TV fantasy-drama series "Merlin" , in addition to other roles he . Louis XIV (Louis Dieudonne; 5 September - 1 September ), known as Louis the Great (Louis le Grand) or the Sun King (le Roi Soleil), was King of France from 14 May until his death in His reign of 72 years and days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France Coronation: 7 June , Reims Cathedral. Gratuit - Contact et inscription: 01 30 97 83 89 ou [email protected] SPEAK-DATING: anglais Jeudi 03/10/ a 18h

They were set aside for the personal use of Louis XIV in He and his successors Louis XV and Louis XVI used these rooms for official functions, such as the ceremonial lever "waking up" and the coucher "going to bed" of the monarch, which were attended by a crowd of courtiers. The King's apartment was accessed from the Hall of Mirrors from the Oeil de Boeuf antechamber past the Guardroom and the Grand Couvertthe ceremonial room where Louis XIV often took his evening meals, seated alone at a table in front of the fireplace.

His spoon, fork, and knife were brought to him in a golden box. The courtiers could watch as he dined. The King's bedchamber had originally been the State Drawing Room and had been used by Queen Marie-Theresa, but after her death in Louis XIV took it over to use as his own bedroom and died there on September 1, On October 6,from the balcony of this room Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, joined by the Marquis de Lafayettelooked down on the hostile crowd in the courtyard, shortly before the King was forced to return to Paris.

The bed of the King is placed beneath a carved relief by Nicolas Coustou entitled France watching over the sleeping King. The decoration includes several paintings set into the paneling, including a self-portrait of Antony Van Dyck. The petit appartement de la reine is a suite of rooms that were reserved for the personal use of the queen.

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The Queen's apartments and the King's Apartments were laid out on the same design, each suite having seven rooms. Both suites had ceilings painted with scenes from mythology; the King's ceilings featured male figures, the Queen's featured females. The Galerie des Glaces or Hall of Mirrors. Guerdirons or candle holders in the Hall of Mirrors. The Grand Gallery is a set of three highly decorated reception rooms, dedicated to the celebration of the political and military successes of Louis XIV, and used for important ceremonies, celebrations and receptions.

Below the fireplace is a painting of Cliothe Muse of History, recording the exploits of the King. It took the place of the rooftop terrace overlooking the gardens which formerly connected the apartments of the King and Queen. The construction of the room began in and finished in It shows Louis XIV, facing the powers of Europe, turning away from his pleasures to accept a crown of immortality from Glory, with the encouragement of Mars.

The hall was originally furnished with solid silver furniture designed by Le Brun, but these furnishings were melted down in to help pay for war expenses.

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The King kept a silver throne, usually located in the Salon of Apollo, which was brought to the Hall of Mirrors for formal ceremonies, such as the welcome of foreign ambassadors, including a delegation from the King of Siam in It was also used for large events, such as full-dress and masked balls.

Light was provided by candelabra on large gilded guerdirons lining the hall. Those on display today were made in for the marriage of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, based on the moldings of earlier silver versions made by LeBrun that had been melted down. The twenty-four crystal chandeliers were hung only for special occasions. Courtiers gathered in the Hall to watch the King walk from his apartments to the chapel, and sometimes took the occasion to present him with requests.

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It was consecrated inand was dedicated to Louis IX of Francethe ancestor and patron saint of the King. Construction was begun by Hardouin-Mansart inand was completed by de Corte. Daily services, wedding ceremonies, and baptisms were held in this chapel until Like other royal chapels, it had two levels: the King and family worshipped in the Royal Gallery on the upper level, while ordinary courtiers stood on the ground level.

The paintings on the ceiling display scenes depicting the three figures of the trinity. The Royal Chapel has been under renovation for days.

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The end of the construction is scheduled for summer Ceiling of the opera, painted by Louis Jean-Jacques Durameau. However, due to the expense of the King's continental wars, the project was put aside. The idea was revived by Louis XV with a new design by Ange-Jacques Gabriel inbut this also was temporarily put aside. The project was revived and rushed ahead for the planned celebration of the marriage of the Dauphin, the future Louis XVIand Marie-Antoinette.

For economy and speed, the new opera was built almost entirely of wood, which also gave it very high quality acoustics.

The wood was painted to resemble marble, and the ceiling was decorated with a painting of the Apollo, the god of the arts, preparing crowns for illustrious artists, by Louis Jean-Jacques Durameau.

The sculptor Augustin Pajou added statuary and reliefs to complete the decoration. The new Opera was inaugurated on May 16,as part of the celebration of the royal wedding. In Octoberearly in the French Revolutionthe last banquet for the royal guardsmen was hosted by the King in the opera, before he departed for Paris. Following the Franco-German War in and then the Paris Commune untilthe French National Assembly met in the opera, until the proclamation of the Third French Republic and the return of the government to Paris.

Shortly after becoming King inLouis Philippe I decided to transform the Palace, which was empty of furnishings and in poor repair, into a museum devoted to "All the Glories of France," with paintings and sculpture depicting famous French victories and heroes.

The walls of the apartments of the courtiers and lesser members of the royal family on the first floor second floor U. A monumental painting by Vernet features Louis Philippe himself, with his sons, posing in front of the gates of the Palace. The overthrow of Louis Philippe in put an end to his grand plans for the museum, but the Gallery of Battles is still as it was, and is passed through by many visitors to the royal apartments and grand salons. Another set of rooms on the first floor has been made into galleries on Louis XIV and his court, displaying furniture, paintings, and sculpture.

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In recent years, eleven rooms on the ground floor between the Chapel and the Opera have been turned into a history of the palace, with audiovisual displays and models. The Orangerie garden. They were originally designed to be viewed from the terrace on the west side of the palace, and to create a grand perspective that reached to the horizon, illustrating the king's complete dominance over nature.

The features closest to the Palace are the two water parterreslarge pools which reflect the facade of the palace.

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These are decorated with smaller works of sculpture, representing the rivers of France, which are placed so as not to interfere with the reflections in the water. Down a stairway from the Parterre d'Eau is the Latona Fountaincreated inillustrating the story of Latona taken from the Metamorphoses of Ovid. According to the story, when the peasants of Lycia insulted Latona, the mother of Apollo and Dianathe god Jupiter transformed the peasants into frogs.

Gaspard's brother Balthazard designed six lead half-human, half-frog figures to grace the water spouts surrounding the Latona statue, with 24 cast lead frogs positioned on the grass surrounding the perimeter of the fountain. Hardouin-Mansart designed a much grander fountain of four oval tiers forming a pyramid, topped by Gaspard Marsy's statue and enhanced all around with the semi-human figures of Balthazard Marsy and an assortment of gilded frogs and lizards sculpted by Claude Bertin.

The Latona Fountain underwent a major renovation between an which required the removal of its statuary, marble fittings, and lead pipe network for off-site restoration. The marble facing and statues were covered in years of accumulated grime, obscuring the vibrant colors of the marble and the gilt fixtures as they originally appeared.

The Grand Perspective of the palace continues from the Fountain of Latona south along a grassy lane, the Tapis Vert or green carpet, to the Basin of the Chariot of Apollo. Apollo, the sun god, was the emblem of Louis XIV, featured in much of the decoration of the palace. The chariot rising from the water symbolized the rising of the sun. It was designed by Le Brun and made by the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Tuby at the Gobelins Manufactory between an cast in lead and then gilded.

Another group of formal gardens is located on the north side of the water parterre. The fountains in this area all have a maritime or aquatic theme; the Pyramid Fountain is decorated with TritonsSirensdolphins and nymphs. The Dragon Fountain is one of the oldest at Versailles and has the highest jet of water, twenty-seven meters. It is not actually a dragon, but a pythona mythical serpent that was killed by Apollo. The Neptune Fountain was originally decorated only with a circle of large lead basins jetting water; Louis XV added statues of NeptuneTriton and other gods of the sea.

The South Parterre is located beneath the windows of the queen's apartments and on the roof of the Orangerie. It is decorated with box trees and flowers in arabesque patterns. The Orangerie is located beneath the main terrace of the palace, on which the North and South Parterres rest. Three huge retaining walls divide the South Parterre from the lower parterre parterre bas of the Orangerie. Arcaded galleries with walls up to 16 ft. The longest of these is the main south-facing gallery, at over ft.

Corresponding staircases known as the Escaliers des Cent Marches so-called because each staircase has steps descend from above the east and west galleries to reach the level of the Orangerie.

Palace of Versailles

The thickness of the walls combined with the southern exposure and double glazing of the windows was designed according to the theories of Jean Baptiste de la Quintinie, the head gardener of the Potager du roito provide a frost-free environment year round for the tender subtropical plants, primarily Orange trees, beloved by Louis XIV. Supplying water for the fountains of Versailles was a major problem for the royal government.

The site of the Palace itself is ft. This presented the daunting problem to Louis XIV's engineers of how to transport water uphill over such a distance.

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Inpressure on water supplies led Louis XIV to commission another aqueduct, the Canal de l'Eureto transport water from the River Eure52 miles to the southwest. Work on the Eure aqueduct came to a halt inwhen France entered the Nine Years' Warand the poor finances of the kingdom in the latter part of Louis XIV's life prevented work from ever resuming.



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