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The Palace of Versailles (built c.

1624-98), a magnificent example of


French Baroque architecture, is the most famous royal chateau in France.

The Palace of Versailles is the central part of a complex that housed the French
government, or more precisely its royalty, during the reigns of Louis XIV, Louis XV
and Louis XVI.

After the French Revolution in 1789, chateau Versailles was no longer a


permanent royal residence.

Located about 10 miles (16 kilometers) southwest of Paris, it is beside the


settlement of Versailles.

It all started when Louis XIII was invited on several hunting trips in the forests
surrounding Versailles. Pleased with the location, Louis ordered the construction
of a hunting lodge in 1624.

Eight years later he began to make enlargements to the chteau so it can have
enough space to house the king and a small group of servants.

It was the Sun King, Louis XIV who radically transformed Versailles making it
the seat of Frances government by the time of his death.
A ruler who chose the sun as his symbol and believed in centralized government
with the king at its center.
-He moved his bedchamber into the drawing room lying east-west in the Palace,
facing the rising sun.

He ruled France for 72 years and in that time transformed Versailles into a palace
that contained north and south wings, as well as nearby buildings housing
ministries. A series of gardens, created in a formal style, stood to the west of the
palace (one of them today is in the shape of a star) and contained sculptures as
well as the pressurized fountains capable of launching water high into the air.

-3,000 to 10,000 people (depending on the days) A court of 3,000 residents,


including the king and queen, members of the royal family, government
ministers, aristocrats, diplomats, civil servants
-700 Rooms
-Over 2,000 Windows
-1,250 Fireplaces
-67 Staircases
-551,112 square feet of floor area
-1,977 acres of Gardens

The Gardens of Versailles-


200,000 trees
210,000 flowers planted annually
50 fountains (pressurized water fountains in its gardens that jetted water into the
air - subterranean waters)-iron and wooden machine drew water from river
Seine/LOUD)
620 water jets (fed by 35 km. piping) spomenuti WC-e
5.57 km Grand Canal (surface area 23 ha.)
Like the palace itself it had an abundant garden whose smells were said to
overpower visitors but it couldn't mask the smell inside the palace

-> it contained a lot of artworks. During this period, during which an enormous
amount of French artworks and objets d'art were looted and desecrated, the
Palace of Versailles suffered its own share of vandalism and theft

The Hall of Mirrors - the central gallery of the Palace - which consisted of 17
mirror-clad arches reflecting the 17 windows
-A total of 357 mirrors were used in its decoration
- the baroque style is here very noticable with all that golden and bronze
ornaments, the canvases along the ceiling, the polychrome marbles

the Hall of Battles- is a 120 metre long and 13 metre wide gallery
- was intended to glorify French military history from the Battle of Tolbiac to the
Battle of Wagram
- it contained paintings that showed major military events in French history

the Royal Chapel- the center of religious life. Chapel magnifies the monarch as
a god.
-it was quite windy in it (as we say PROMAJA), so the members of a royal family
ordered some kind of colden covers that will protect them from coldness while
they are in the chapel

The Royal Opera of Versailles -is the main theatre and opera house of
the Palace of Versailles. -The interior decoration is constructed almost entirely of
wood, painted to resemble marble in a technique known as faux marble
-thanks to its wooden interior, the opera house has excellent acoustics
- The Opra Royal can serve either as a theater for opera, stage plays, or
orchestral events, when it can fit an audience of 712,
-a mechanical device that allowed the orchestra pit to rise up to the stage,
allowing it to be turned into a ballroom and fit 1,200 people in it

Versailles today
is one of the France's foremost tourist attractions.
the palace still serves political functions