[21] He also replaced Le Vau's large terrace, facing the garden on the west, with what became the most famous room of the palace, the Hall of Mirrors. [83] The aqueduct was intended to carry water by gravity from a high reservoir near the river, through the gardens of the Château de Maintenon, to Versailles. It was rebuilt beginning in 1712 under the supervision of the First Architect of the King, Robert de Cotte, to showcase two paintings by Paolo Veronese, Eleazar and Rebecca and Meal at the House of Simon the Pharisee, which was a gift to Louis XIV from the Republic of Venice in 1664. 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. The King defeated the plot and sent his mother into exile. After he became King in 1610, Louis XIII returned to the village, bought some land, and in 1623-24 built a modest two-story hunting lodge on the site of the current marble courtyard. 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. André Le Nôtre began transforming the park and gardens of Versailles in the early 1660s. [61]. Work on the Eure aqueduct came to a halt in 1688, when France entered the Nine Years' War, and the poor finances of the kingdom in the latter part of Louis XIV's life prevented work from ever resuming. She was at the Petit Trianon in July 1789 when she first heard the news from Paris of the storming of the Bastille and the beginning of the French Revolution. Both suites had ceilings painted with scenes from mythology; the King's ceilings featured male figures, the Queen's featured females. Each bosquet had its own theme and fountains, statuary, grottoes, and other decoration. In the north wing, the palace chapel rises above the rest of the grounds. [22], After the death of Maria Theresa of Spain in 1683, Louis XIV undertook the enlargement and remodeling of the royal apartments in the original part of the palace, within the former hunting lodge built by his father. The attic storey has square windows and pilasters and crowned by a balustrade bearing sculptured trophies and flame pots dissimulating a flat roof. The chariot rising from the water symbolized the rising of the sun. It was also used for large events, such as full-dress and masked balls. [70], Fountain of Latona, with the Grand Canal in the background. To the west is the Gate of Honour, a gilded iron gate and stone balustrade that marks the main entrance to the palace complex. These were sources of continual stench, polluting nearby rooms and causing issues of blockage and sewage leaks from the iron and lead pipes which drained the privies on the upper floors. [54] The staircases’ primal function and the details it encompasses reinforces this progression at Versailles. Macron Retreats to Palace of Versailles with Fever, Cough, Fatigue Liberal activist took me “out of context” to say I would challenge electors in the Senate Oregon lawmakers look at tax credits for housing solutions ahead of special session While the design used for the chambre du roi was, in fact, from the original design to decorate the chambre de la reine, it nevertheless represents a great achievement in the ongoing restoration at Versailles. 129 21 March to Sr. Jehannot de Bartillay 4,970 livres 12 sols for the delivery to Sr. Lois and de Villers silversmiths for, with 136,457 livres 5 sol to one and 25,739 livres 10 sols to another, making the 38 balusters, 17 pilasters, the base and the cornice for the balustrade for the château of Versailles weighing 4,076 marc at the rate of 41 livres the marc[c] including 41 livres 2 sols for tax: 4,970 livres 12 sols. Updates? In 1875 a second parliamentary body, the French Senate, was created, and held its meetings for the election of a President of the Republic in a new hall created in 1876 in the south wing of the Palace. After the addition of the Hall of Mirrors (1678–1684) 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. The additions were designed by such renowned architects as Jules Hardouin-Mansart, Robert de Cotte, and Louis Le Vau. 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. The palace saw extensive renovations and additions over the next 155 years, including major expansions during the reign of Louis XIV. Versailles Palace history. 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 style, as designed by Louis Le Vau and later Jules Hardouin-Mansart. His spoon, fork, and knife were brought to him in a golden box. It is located in the city of Versailles, Yvelines département, Île-de-France région, northern France, 10 miles (16 km) west-southwest of Paris. A country village with only a church and a small castle, Versailles in the early 17th century was teeming with wildlife. [40], The restoration initiatives launched by the Fifth Republic have proven to be perhaps more costly than the expenditures of the palace in the Ancien Régime. The first floor is almost entirely occupied by the Battles Gallery, which was designed by architects Frédéric Nepveu and Pierre-Léonard Fontaine and was unveiled in June 1837. Among the early projects was the repair of the roof over the Hall of Mirrors; the publicity campaign brought international attention to the plight of post-war Versailles and garnered much foreign money including a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. In 1687, he replaced it with the Grand Trianon, a larger and more classical pavilion designed by Mansart, with a terrace and walls faced with different colored slabs of marble. It replaced a botanical garden created by Louis XV, and consisted of twelve structures, ten of which still exist, in the style of villages in Normandy. The idea was revived by Louis XV with a new design by Ange-Jacques Gabriel in 1748, but this also was temporarily put aside. Other buildings on the Versailles domaine cannot be excluded from the palace of Versailles history. Heads of state are regaled in the Hall of Mirrors; the bicameral French Parliament—consisting of the Senate (Sénat) and the National Assembly (Assemblée nationale)—meet in joint session (a congress of the French Parliament) in Versailles[98] to revise or otherwise amend the French Constitution, a tradition that came into effect with the promulgation of the 1875 Constitution. The addition was known at the time as the château neuf (new château). Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Three days later the so-called “women’s march” on Versailles would force Louis XVI to relocate to Paris and spell the end of the palace as a royal residence. For exam… Originally located at the apex of the Court of Honour, the statue was relocated to the Place d’Armes in 2009 after an extensive restoration. [82] In 1681, construction commenced on the Machine de Marly at Bougival; the machine consisted of 14 paddle wheels powered by the currents of the Seine. 15 16 June 1681 – 23 January 1682 to Sr. Lois and Sr. de Villers silversmiths on account for the silver balustrade that they are making for the king's use (four payments): 88,457 livres 5 sols. The full citations can be found in the immediately following section. [49] The exterior features an arcaded, rusticated ground floor, supporting a main floor with round-headed windows divided by reliefs and pilasters or columns. Hardouin-Mansart died in 1708 and so the chapel was completed by his assistant Robert de Cotte in 1710.[23]. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. According to the story, when the peasants of Lycia insulted Latona, the mother of Apollo and Diana, the god Jupiter transformed the peasants into frogs. [96], In 1668 Louis XIV decided to build a smaller palace some distance from the main palace, where he could spend quieter time away from the crowds and formality of his Court. [63], The Peace Salon is decorated to illustrate the role of France as the arbiter and peacemaker of Europe under Louis XV. Some paintings were brought from the Louvre, including works depicting events in French history by Philippe de Champaigne, Pierre Mignard, Laurent de La Hyre, Charles Le Brun, Adam Frans van der Meulen, Nicolas de Largillière, Hyacinthe Rigaud, Jean-Antoine Houdon, Jean-Marc Nattier, Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Hubert Robert, Thomas Lawrence, Jacques-Louis David, and Antoine-Jean Gros. 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 auction took place between 25 August 1793 and 11 August 1794. [34], During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871, the Palace was occupied by the general staff of the victorious German Army. [85] Despite enormous investment in canals and machinery for hoisting water, Versailles never had sufficient water supply for its hundreds of fountains. The Salon of Abundance was the antechamber to the Cabinet of Curios (now the Games Room), which displayed Louis XIV's collection of precious jewels and rare objects. The new theater was completed in time for the celebration of the wedding of the Dauphin, the future Louis XVI, and Archduchess Marie Antoinette of Austria. It is located in the city of Versailles in northern France, 10 miles (16 km) west-southwest of Paris. As a museum, the palace’s many rooms would house collections of paintings and sculptures that represented the great men and important events throughout the history of France. Its formal title is the Public Establishment of the Palace, Museum and National Estate of Versailles Since 1995, it has been run as a Public Establishment, with an independent administration and management supervised by the French Ministry of Culture. 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. Perhaps the most-famous room in the palace is the Hall of Mirrors (1678–89). For the extensive park around the palace, see, "Versailles" redirects here. [45], The Palace of Versailles is owned by the French state. [66], The Royal Chapel has been under renovation for 767 days. [25] He commissioned Gabriel to rebuild it in a more neoclassical style. Gilded statues and reliefs border its marble walls. To the east of the palace is the Place d’Armes, a wide plaza that in the 21st century served mainly as a parking lot to accommodate the thousands of tourists who visited Versailles each day. 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. Formal beds of turf and boxwood outlined by gravel paths to form arabesque patterns were created, faithful to the original designs of Le Nôtre. History. Le Brun supervised the work of a large group of sculptors and painters, called the Petite Academie, who crafted and painted the ornate walls and ceilings. The Palace of Versailles was declared the official royal residence in 1682 and the official residence of the court of France on May 6, 1682, but it was abandoned after the death of Louis XIV in 1715. The King's apartment was accessed from the Hall of Mirrors from the Oeil de Boeuf antechamber past the Guardroom and the Grand Couvert, the ceremonial room where Louis XIV often took his evening meals, seated alone at a table in front of the fireplace. The chapel was completed by de Cotte in 1710, and it hosted daily masses as well as royal weddings and baptisms until 1789. The Palace of Versailles has hosted some of the most important moments in European history, and it's also seen its fair share of wild parties and crazy antics. The French Revolution of 1830 brought a new monarch, Louis-Philippe to power, and a new ambition for Versailles. 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. Additionally, Louis XIV's granddaughter-in-law, Princess Marie-Adélaïde of Savoy, duchesse de Bourgogne, wife of the Petit Dauphin, occupied these rooms from 1697 (the year of her marriage) to her death in 1712.[b]. The sculptor Augustin Pajou added statuary and reliefs to complete the decoration. The Comptes meticulously list the expenditures on the silver furniture – disbursements to artists, final payments, delivery – as well as descriptions and weight of items purchased. The project was revived and rushed ahead for the planned celebration of the marriage of the Dauphin, the future Louis XVI, and Marie-Antoinette. Others were commissioned especially for the museum by prominent artists of the early 19th century, including Eugène Delacroix, who painted Saint Louis at the French victory over the British in the Battle of Taillebourg in 1242. The Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Schönbrunn in Vienna, and Herrenchiemsee in Bavaria are only three of the royal palaces built in imitation of the Palace of Versailles. The Queen's apartments and the King's Apartments were laid out on the same design, each suite having seven rooms. Even the mirrors used in the decoration of the Hall of Mirrors were made in France. One of the most lavish was the banquet that he hosted for Queen Victoria in the Royal Opera of Versailles on August 25, 1855. [41] After the war when Soviet authorities were restoring the palace, which had been gutted by the retreating Nazi forces, they recreated the silk fabrics by using preserved 18th-century remnants. However, due to the expense of the King's continental wars, the project was put aside. The Ambassadors Staircase (Escalier des Ambassadeurs) was built in 1674 but was finished in 1680. [87] For most courtiers, bathing was infrequent and might only be carried out in portable bathtubs in their chambers, filled with water carried by hand from the nearest ground floor tap. They took weapons from the city armory, besieged the Palace, and compelled the King and Royal family and the members of the National Assembly to return with them to Paris the following day. [78] Beyond the fountain, the Grand Canal extends 1800 meters to the south end of the park. King Louis XIII of France was responsible for the Palace of Versailles, an opulent castle in the town of Versailles that sits just 12.5 miles outside of Paris. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? The King wished a quiet place to relax away from the ceremony of the Court. The ground floor gallery of the south wing was prone to this, to the extent that iron bars had to be installed in the corridor outside the rooms of the Dauphin Louis and the Dauphine when they moved to the south wing in 1745. The original residence was primarily a hunting lodge and private retreat for Louis XIII (reigned 1610–43) and his family. [62], The King's bedchamber had originally been the State Drawing Room and had been used by Queen Marie-Theresa, but after her death in 1701 Louis XIV took it over to use as his own bedroom and died there on September 1, 1715. Each set of apartments was connected to the ground floor with a ceremonial stairway, and each had seven rooms, aligned in a row; a vestibule, a room for the guards, an antechamber, chamber, a large cabinet or office; a smaller bedroom, and a smaller cabinet. 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 1686. Trompe-l'œil paintings and sculpture around the ceiling illustrate mythological themes. He ordered the restoration of the royal apartments, but the task and cost was too great. Mansart also built the Petites Écuries and Grandes Écuries (stables) across the Place d'Armes, on the eastern side of the château. [28] The Queen was at the Petit Trianon in July 1789 when she first learned of the beginning of the French Revolution. [68], In October 1789, early in the French Revolution, the 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 1871 and then the Paris Commune until 1875, the French National Assembly met in the opera, until the proclamation of the Third French Republic and the return of the government to Paris. [93], As always, the royal family and high-ranking courtiers within the palace had superior hygienic arrangements at their disposal. It was designed for the Queen and her friends to amuse themselves by playing peasants, and included a farmhouse with a dairy, a mill, a boudoir, a pigeon loft, a tower in the form of a lighthouse from which one could fish in the pond, a belvedere, a cascade and grotto, and a luxuriously furnished cottage with a billiard room for the Queen. Until the official inauguration of the Palace of Versailles on 6 May 1682, the royal court often changed locations. He discreetly provided accommodations in another part of the palace for his famous mistresses, Madame de Pompadour and later Madame du Barry. Daily services, wedding ceremonies, and baptisms were held in this chapel until 1789. For economy and speed, the new opera was built almost entirely of wood, which also gave it very high quality acoustics. [77], 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. [100] For example, the Parliament met in joint session at Versailles to pass constitutional amendments in June 1999 (for domestic applicability of International Criminal Court decisions and for gender equality in candidate lists), in January 2000 (ratifying the Treaty of Amsterdam), and in March 2003 (specifying the "decentralized organization" of the French Republic). Originally arranged for the use of the Marie-Thérèse, consort of Louis XIV, the rooms were later modified for use by Marie Leszczyńska and finally for Marie-Antoinette. Neptune and the Palace of Versailles in France. The king also commissioned the landscape designer André Le Nôtre to create the most magnificent gardens in Europe, embellished with fountains, statues, basins, canals, geometric flower beds and groves of trees. [94], The character of the "piss boy" in Mel Brooks' film History of the World: Part 1 is based on a real job at the palace. It is decorated with box trees and flowers in arabesque patterns. Prior to his marriage with Marie-Louise in 1810, he had the Grand Trianon restored and refurnished as a springtime residence for himself and his family, in the style of furnishing that it is seen today. The Orangerie is located beneath the main terrace of the palace, on which the North and South Parterres rest. It took the place of the rooftop terrace overlooking the gardens which formerly connected the apartments of the King and Queen. Many of the palace’s rooms became the home to collections tracing the major events in French history, collections which were added to until the early 20th century. They were bordered with high trees and carefully trimmed in cubic forms to resemble rooms with walls of greenery. The Palace of Versailles cover an area of 8,150,265 square meters (87,728,720 square feet), or 2,014 acres, making it the World’s Largest Royal Domain. It was begun by Hardouin-Mansart in 1699 and was his last important work. Corresponding staircases known as the Escaliers des Cent Marches (so-called because each staircase has 100 steps) descend from above the east and west galleries to reach the level of the Orangerie. This was a picturesque collection of buildings modeled after a rural French hamlet, where the Queen and her courtiers could play at being peasants. [112], Clearly, the silver furniture alone represented a significant outlay in the finances of Versailles. Those on display today were made in 1770 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. Concurrently, in the Soviet Union (Russia since 26 December 1991), the restoration of the Pavlovsk Palace located 25 kilometers from the center of Leningrad – today's Saint Petersburg – brought the attention of French Ministry of Culture, including that of the curator of Versailles. [13] In the 1670s and 1680s, 10 million livres worth of solid silver furniture was commissioned to designs by Le Brun, including tubs for Louis XIV's orange trees, an 8 foot high sculpted throne, and a silver balustrade in the Salon of Mercury. [22] Louis XV remained faithful to the original plan of his great-grandfather, and made few changes to the exteriors of Versailles. It concluded in the lighter and more graceful neoclassical Louis XVI style of the Petit Trianon, completed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel in 1768. Louis XIV and his courtiers were based in the Louvre Palace, then the Tuileries, alternating with stints at the Châteaux of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Vincennes, Fontainebleau and the rapidly-growing Versailles. Louis XIV died in 1715, and the young new King, Louis XV, just five years old, and his government were moved temporarily from Versailles to Paris under the regency of Philippe II, Duke of Orléans. Unveiled in 2008, the Royal Gate partially re-creates a gate that was designed by Hardouin-Mansart in the 1680s and was destroyed during the French Revolution. The fountain was begun in 1670 by Le Nôtre, then enlarged and modified by Hardouin-Mansart in 1686. As of 4 April 2008, silver has been trading in New York at US$17.83 an ounce. The centerpiece is an enormous sculpted medallion of Louis XIV, on horseback, crossing the Rhine in 1672, created by Antoine Coysevox. Additionally, given the quality and uniqueness of the items produced at the Gobelins for use and display at Versailles, the palace served as a venue to showcase not only the success of Colbert's mercantilism, but also to display the finest that France could produce.[113]. The chapel on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles, France, built on two levels, by Robert de Cotte, 1710. The painting on the ceiling, The Apotheosis of Hercules, by François Lemoyne, was completed in 1736, and gave the room its name.[57][58]. Located there are the apartments of the dauphin, the dauphine, and the daughters of Louis XV. Light was provided by candelabra on large gilded guerdirons lining the hall. Another set of rooms on the first floor has been made into galleries on Louis XIV and his court, displaying furniture, paintings, and sculpture. The earliest mention of the name of Versailles is in a document dated 1038, relating to the village of Versailles.In 1575, the seigneury of Versailles was bought by Albert de Gondi, a naturalized Florentine, who invited Louis XIII on several hunting trips in the forests surrounding Versailles. The Royal Gate, an elaborate gold leaf gate, separates the Court of Honour from the Royal Court at the location where the Louis XIV statue once stood. [41], When these results and the high quality achieved were brought to the attention of the French Minister of Culture, he revived 18th-century weaving techniques so as to reproduce the silks used in the decoration of Versailles. 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. Annual Report of the Regional Committee on Tourism of the Ile-de-France Region, cited in. It traces the military history of France from the reign of Clovis I to Napoleon. [7][10], The first phase of the expansion (c. 1661–1678) was designed and supervised by the architect Louis Le Vau. Some of the objects in the collection are depicted in René-Antoine Houasse's painting Abundance and Liberality (1683), located on the ceiling over the door opposite the windows. After 82 days of closure[4] due to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, the Palace of Versailles has re-opened to the public again. 111 25 March – 18 April to Sr. Lois and Sr. de Villers silversmiths who are working on a silver balustrade for the king, for continued work (two payments): 40,000 livres, II. [90] The suite was dismantled and covered over after the relationship ended in 1684. The end of the construction is scheduled for summer 2020. [27] Louis Philippe had the far end of the south wing of the Cour Royale demolished and rebuilt to match the Gabriel wing of 1780 opposite, which gave greater uniformity of appearance to the front entrance. In the center is The Glory of the Father Announcing the Coming of the Messiah by Antoine Coypel, above the altar is The Resurrection of Christ, and above the royal gallery is The Holy Spirit Descending Upon the Virgin and the Apostles. Ayers 2004,also includes 700 rooms. One part of the initiative, the restoration of the Hall of Mirrors, was completed in 2006. Louis XVI was constrained by the worsening financial situation of the kingdom from making major changes to the palace, so that he primarily focused on improvements to the royal apartments. 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The suite was dismantled and covered over after the Revolution, the Palace into a storehouse for,. Beginning of the Palace is the Opéra royal, built a small at... Artist Carle Van Loo decorate the room today portraits of Louis XIV ( 1638-1… Neptune the... `` King 's continental wars, the palace of versailles history and patron Saint of the armistice March... In 1686 Mars was used by the Gondi family and high-ranking courtiers within the Palace of Versailles France. A stage for Grand ceremonies be excluded from the ceremony of the Orangerie area... And a new monarch, Louis-Philippe to power, and the Hall of Mirrors, was the setting formal. For your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your.... For special occasions was influential in choosing shows to be an occasional residence for Louis in. Of European absolutism Jean Warin 's life-size statue of Louis XIV 1722 to 1738 columns faced...

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