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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Versailles in France

Versailles in France
Versailles was initially within the possession of the family of Gondi, a family of wealthy and influential parliamentarians in Paris. The Gondi family welcomed Louis XIII to hunt within the vast forests of their property. In 1622, Louis XIII became the owner of a piece of woodland in Versailles for his clandestine hunting.

In 1624, Louis XIII purchased some land to build a "gentleman's chateau of stone and red bricks with a slate roof.” In 1632, the king obtained the properties and holdings of Versailles from the Gondi family. After the passing of Louis XIII in 1643, the community had 1,000 residents. In 1661, 20 years after the reign of his father, Louis XIV commenced his personal reign. Louis soon became the most powerful monarch in European history.

In May 1682, King Louis XIV moved the court and government to the Palace of Versailles in France in order to prevent the government from interfering in his reign. During this time, Louis lavished great feasts and gifts of extravagant magnitude on his guests to remain in their favor.

Versaille Gardens

The Sun Kings’ exaggerated tastes and lifestyle would explain the over the top ornamentation and tapestries throughout the interior of the palace of Versailles. Louis XIV reigned in Versailles for 72 years and his exaggerated tastes governed French life. “King Louis XIV said that fashion is a mirror.” Louis himself was renowned for his style, which trended towards extravagant laces and velvets.

Versailles Interior
Image Source

It was a well known fact that Louis XIV was a great supporter of the arts and no matter where he traveled or walked in the gardens; instruments would play enlightened musical songs, free from the eyes of onlookers.

Versailles France Gardens

The culture, the music, and the local art forms around Versailles were greatly influenced by the reign of Louis XIV. Louis loved to dance and one of the most important aspects of French music was dance. Some of the most important composers and artists evolved around this time and with the support of the “Sun King”. So if you can put aside Louis XIV’s obsession with flair and showing off his rippled legs, you would recognize that Versailles came of age and produced some of the most prolific of artistry in the world.


Bob Johnson said...

Great photos and info, I find that France, or as I pronounce it to bug my wife "Fronce", very interesting at that time.

A. @ A Changing Life said...

For myself, I prefer Fontainebleau. Inside the place there is far more to see and I felt I managed to absorb the opulence of the place more. And there were far fewer crowds! On the other hand the gardens of Versailles are unequalled. Amazing!

Ancient Digger said...

I have never seen the insides of the Palace in Versailles, but I imagine the crowds are horrendous. I'll have to look into Fontainebleau

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