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The Palace Of Versailles,
Transcript of The Palace Of Versailles,
The Palace Of Versailles, The Kings of France and the French Revolution
The Palace Of Versailles
Louis XIV was an absolute monarch.
This means that he had all the power over France in terms of decision-making. He believed in the Divine Right, which is the concept that God gave him the right to rule.
Louis became king at the young age of 4, when his father Louis III passed away. He ruled France from 1651 until his death in 1715. He was a good king, he produced an heir. During his reign France experienced glory, and difficulties at the same time:
He transformed France into one of the strongest Countries in Europe and expanded his territory with numerous wars. He improved French economy and trade.
He left the third Estate in difficulty with high taxes and not enough food.
Louis was constantly strengthening and reinforcing his absolute power but he was spending a lot of money on improving the Palace of Versailles, where he moved to because of riots in Paris
Louis XIV was called the Sun King,
because he believed that he was like
the sun, shining, giving life, and that
France would be in darkness without
him. He was also influenced by Apollo,
the Sun King of Greek Mythology.
The Palace of Versailles is located approximatley 25 kilometers southwest from Paris, in the village of Versailles.
The Royal Palace Of Versailles is the symbol of french absolute monarchy. It is 10th largest palace in the World! The total area is 87,782,720 square feet and includes 250 acres of gardens with 200,000 trees, 50 fountains, 1 grand canal of 5km and countless flowers and water jets. The Palace covers 42,000 with 700 rooms housing up to 20,000 guests. It took 36,000 workers, 6,000 horses, fifty years to build it, at a staggering 116,438,892 livres!
In order to keep it clean, there were over 8,000 servants running around it at all times!
It was a small hunting lodge, built for King Louis XIII in 1623.
In 1661 King Louis XIV thought the chateau was too small for the royal family and its noble visitors so he began to rebuild and to expand the lodge . In 1682 he made it the center of the king and the government's activity.
Every inch of this magnificent palace was meticolously designed by Louis Le Veau, Jules Hardouin Mansart, André Le Notre and Philibert le Roy.
How Louis XIV achieved
Louis XIV and his wars
Louis made absolutism possible by eliminating all the opposing powers and centralized them onto himself. His famous declaration ' L'etat c'est moi' explains his political strategy very well. In order to achieve absolute power, he...
Relocated all the nobles to the Palace of Versailles, and forced them to abandon all their land, replacing them with bourgeois who were all loyal to him.
Next, he proclaimed that the Third State was no longer able to take part in political decisions, and that he was acting for the well being of the country. He believed that just like in the human body, he was the brain and he controlled everyone.
The Roman Church was against his ideas, so he stated that the French Church was independent from them, he identified himself as ruler of the French Church, and acquired even more power!
Absolutism was a type of Monarchy
in which all the power was focused and centralized onto the King. He decided for the government, he made the laws and controlled all other political, economical and military aspects.
Louis took part in many wars, the most significant were:
The War Of Devolution (1667) against Spain, and was unsuccessful.
The Dutch war (1672-1678) against Holland, Luxembourg, came out victorious.
The War of the Grand Alliance ( 1688-1697) against all major European States, expansion was blocked.
The War of Spanish Succession ( 1701-1714) against Spain, many losses and victories, order is re established.
What was it for?
This magnificent room is a long gallery that connects both sides of the palace, and was used to receive the guests. It was also used to reflect French glory in wealth and wars.
INSIDE THE PALACE
The Throne Room known as the Salon of Apollo--the seat of the Sun King.The throne itself was of silver and stood eight feet high. The cloth used represented scenes of the life of Louis XIV and on the walls were masterpieces by the main Italian artists .
Much of the treasure vanished in the years 1689-1690 when the King was constrained to raise money for his depleted treasury
The hall of mirrors represented the political, military, diplomatic, artistic and economic success that France had with Louis XIV. The Grand Hall of Mirrors,symbol of absolutism and divine right and the grandeur of the House of Bourbon. Seventeen windows are matched by as many Venetian framed mirrors. The salon is lighted by some immense chandeliers, made of silver and crystal.
Louis XV was king of France from 1715 to 1774.
He succeeded to his great-grand-father Louis XIV at the age of five. He was an ineffective ruler . He got involved into numerous wars but France suffered major defeats and failed to solve most of the problems left by His Grand Father.
Louis XVI, the grandson of Louis XIV, ruled from 1774 to 1789. He was an ordinary man who liked to eat and hunt. He had no interest in art, theater, and politics. His marriage to Marie Antoinette was intended to consolidate the alliance between Austria and France.
Life at Versailles.
The every day life at the Court of the Bourbons was was dominated by the Etiquette. It was a code of behavior and a series of non written rules that everyone included King and Queen, had to respect.
For example, every night, the king and queen would have a feast known as Le Grand Couvert, a time in which they would eat in front of all the nobles who were standing up, watching them. After such meals, the monarchs would retreat to relieve themselves behind a curtain or a couch. There were other rules, such as how one must walk or how one must bathe, Marie Antoinette, having lived in the simplicity of the Austrian court, thought that this was all ridiculous.
The French Revolution
Versailles is located about 23 km southwest Paris.
The French Revolution was spread over the ten-year period between 1789 and 1799 and was caused by a series of economic, social and political events. Some of these events had a long and short term cause.
Long term causes
-Social background: 1700s, population increase, people needed jobs and the food was too expensive. Too many taxes to the third estate.
-Economic background :In the 1700 money was used for war and maintaining Versailles. Food prices increased.
-Political Background :1776, the national assembly wanted the declaration of Independence to be signed, and demand a constitution. War broke out.
Short term causes
-Social background: King and Queen paid no attention to the social difficulties.
-Economic background :Church and Aristocrats refused to help vthe king by paying taxes. Louis XIV tried to tax the 3rd estate to get more they were broke.
-Political Background: "tennis court oath was signed the Declaration of the rights of man and the citizen.
- Peasant revolt, many chateaux are attacked.
- King's administrators are replaced by middle class officials chosen by the people.
- National Assembly officially declared by the Third Estate.
Storming of the Bastille.
- National Assembly now joined by nobles, feudal system abolished.
- National Assembly approves the Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizens.
Thousands of starving women marched to Versailles to bring the king back to Paris.
What I learnt
- Versailles and it's architects.
- The Bourbon dynasty
- The French Revolution puts an end to the feudal system, starts modern democracy.
Pierre Patel, The Palace of Versailles, 1668
Even though I read many textbooks ans studied many pictures, I couldn't really grasp the magnificence of this Palace. It was exactly like I pictured it, times 20, size and grandness wise.
Another thing that really impressed me was all the gold that is everywhere and that constantly recalls the idea of the Sun King. It felt like the absolutism symbols was Taylor made for Louis XIV, because they were.
My favorite room by far was the famous hall of mirrors. It was extremely beautiful, and I learned that Louis XIV didn't want to buy mirrors from Italian artisans, so he trained a group of Frenchmen to reproduce them.
I was born and lived in Paris for a few years and I've never been to Versailles. When I return, I will also visit the gardens, something we didn't get the chance to do due to bad weather, I was quite disappointed because I was looking forwards to it.
Overall, I really enjoyed this visit and I was happy to learn facts that I
could only find out at the Palace Of Versailles.
Visit Of the Palace of Versailles, October 2014