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Palace of Versailles - Essay Example

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Louis chose to build the palace on the location of his father's hunting lodge in Versailles. For the next two decades the town became an enormous construction site. Le Vau added new wings and faades on every side until they completely enveloped the original hunting lodge. Illustrious additions included the Sun King's magnificent bedroom (the Chambre du Roi), and the famous Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors).
Construction of the Hall of Mirrors began in 1678. The principal feature of this famous hall is the seventeen mirror-clad arches that reflect the seventeen arcaded windows that overlook the gardens (Singleton 25).
The mirrors are very decadent and decorated and they use natural light and candlelight to create awesome space. There is an Audience hall within that highlights Louis XIV's enormous wealth and power. Ceiling frescoes illustrate Louis's successes in war.
Versailles became the home of the French nobility and the location of the royal court thus becoming the center of French government. Symbolically the central room of the long extensive symmetrical range of buildings was the King's Bedchamber. All the power of France emanated from this center: there were government offices here; as well as the homes of thousands of courtiers, their retinues and all the attendant functionaries of court, thus keeping the lords close at hand and securing the French government in an absolute monarchy.
The grounds of Versailles had extensive horticulture, fountains, and canals. He also liked to enjoy sunbathing in his wonderful work of art.
All major avenues radiate from and to the palace courtyard. The King's bedchamber is the actual radiating point, which highlights the king's centrality. Buildings create an embrace and the gardens reflect the King's mastery over the natural world. Exterior is classical; linear and geometric that emphasizes order and stability (Ranum 20).
Chapel at Versailles
It promotes the image of Louis XIV as pious Suggesting his connection to God and his position as God has chosen one.
Palace of Versailles and the nobles
Louis weakened the power of the nobles by excluding them from his councils. In contrast, he increased the power of the government agents called intendants, which collected taxes and administered justice. Louis required every noble to spend some time at the palace. There he would stage complex rituals to show the aristocracy both his power and his kindness. He assumed the role of "Sun King." philosophers of the seventeenth century argued that the sun, as the source of light, was the proper symbol for god and wisdom. Louis adopted the symbol for God to symbolize his own role as God's monarchical representative (Daniels 47).
To keep power under central control, he made sure that local officials communicated regularly with him.
Palace of Versailles and Economic growth
Louis devoted himself to helping France attain economic, political, and cultural brilliance. No one assisted him more in achieving these goals than his minister of finance, Jean Colbert. Colbert tried to make France self-sufficient. He wanted it to be able to manufacture everything it needed ...Show more


Louis XIV of France was growing up in the old Palace d' Royal. Louis became the ruler of France at the age of 21 years. He wanted a grand palace to be built in Paris but Versailles was not the ideal spot for a palace, as the Versailles was located in swampy marshlands.
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Palace of Versailles essay example
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