Neptune and the Palace of Versailles in France. 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. 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. Meal at the House of Simon the Pharisee by Veronese in the Salon of Hercules, The construction of the Hall of Mirrors between 1678 and 1686 coincided with a major alteration to the State Apartments. 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. Below the fireplace is a painting of Clio, the Muse of History, recording the exploits of the King. Other painters featured include Horace Vernet and François Gérard. The chariot rising from the water symbolized the rising of the sun. The new Opera was inaugurated on May 16, 1770, as part of the celebration of the royal wedding. The Palace of Versailles was originally constructed in 1624 as a simple, two-story hunting lodge. 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. It began with the original château, with the brick and stone and sloping slate mansard roofs of the Louis XIII style used by architect Philibert Le Roy. [67], The Royal Opera during the celebration of the marriage of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette (1770), Ceiling of the opera, painted by Louis Jean-Jacques Durameau, The Royal Opera of Versailles was originally commissioned by Louis XIV in 1682 and was to be built at the end of the North Wing with a design by Mansart and Vigarani. André Le Nôtre began transforming the park and gardens of Versailles in the early 1660s. 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. 18, 22; Michelin Tyre 1989, p. 182. sfn error: no target: CITEREFPérouse_de_Montclos (. [63], The Peace Salon is decorated to illustrate the role of France as the arbiter and peacemaker of Europe under Louis XV. The façade of Louis XIII's original château is preserved on the entrance front. Louis XIII, a big hunter, decided to establish a small brick and stone chateau there. 215–229. [89] The baths were installed with hot and cold running water, at the time an exceptional technological advancement, but their primary use was for sexual trysts between the couple rather than for hygiene. 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. Daily services, wedding ceremonies, and baptisms were held in this chapel until 1789. [66], The Royal Chapel has been under renovation for 767 days. For economy and speed, the new opera was built almost entirely of wood, which also gave it very high quality acoustics. The decoration of the walls and ceiling depicts scenes from the life of the goddess Diana. [29], The King and Queen learned of the storming of the Bastille in Paris on July 14, 1789, while they were at the Palace, and remained isolated there as the Revolution in Paris spread. History. Construction was begun by Hardouin-Mansart in 1699, and was completed by de Corte. Glass chandeliers adorn the arched, ornately painted ceiling, upon which Le Brun depicted a series of 30 scenes glorifying the early years of the reign of Louis XIV. p. 333. Initially he added two wings to the forecourt, one for servants quarters and kitchens, the other for stables. 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. In 1792, the Convention, the new revolutionary government, ordered the transfer of all the paintings and sculptures from the Palace to the Louvre. The private apartments of the king (the appartement du roi and the petit appartement du roi) and those of the queen (the petit appartement de la reine) remained in the château vieux (old château). It was designed by Le Brun and made by the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Tuby at the Gobelins Manufactory between 1668 and 1670, cast in lead and then gilded. In 1685, pressure on water supplies led Louis XIV to commission another aqueduct, the Canal de l'Eure, to transport water from the River Eure, 52 miles to the southwest. France's kings were first attracted to Versailles because of the area's prolific game. [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. Marie Antoinette enjoyed entertainment and was influential in choosing shows to be put on at Court. It is decorated with box trees and flowers in arabesque patterns. [30], As soon as the royal family departed, the Palace was closed, awaiting their return—but in fact, the monarchy would never again return to Versailles. [60], Ceiling in the Salon of Apollo, depicting the Sun Chariot of Apollo, Bust of Louis XIV by Bernini in Salon of Diana. [57], This was originally a chapel. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The project was revived and rushed ahead for the planned celebration of the marriage of the Dauphin, the future Louis XVI, and Marie-Antoinette. 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. It is difficult – if not impossible – to give an accurate rate of exchange between 1682 and today. [105] The president of the National Assembly has an official apartment at the Palace of Versailles. The empty grand apartments were opened for tours beginning in 1793, and a small museum of French paintings and art school was opened in some of the empty rooms. She also totally transformed the arboretum planted during the reign of Louis XV into what became known as the Hameau de la Reine. [25] He commissioned Gabriel to rebuild it in a more neoclassical style. He also added two grottos in the Italian style and an immense orangerie to house fruit trees, as well as a zoo with a central pavilion for exotic animals. [73], Hardouin-Mansart designed a much grander fountain of four oval tiers forming a pyramid, topped by Gaspard Marsy's statue and enhanced all around with the semi-human figures of Balthazard Marsy and an assortment of gilded frogs and lizards sculpted by Claude Bertin. In the time of Louis XIV, even the palace, with its thousands of inhabitants, was continually short of fresh drinking water, necessitating the relocation of the court periodically to the palaces of Fontainebleau or Compiègne. The idea was revived by Louis XV with a new design by Ange-Jacques Gabriel in 1748, but this also was temporarily put aside. II. The attic storey has square windows and pilasters and crowned by a balustrade bearing sculptured trophies and flame pots dissimulating a flat roof. 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. The most ornate façade, with Corinthian columns, faced the French landscape garden. [63], The hall was originally furnished with solid silver furniture designed by Le Brun, but these furnishings were melted down in 1689 to help pay for war expenses. [6], After this event, Louis XIII decided to make his hunting lodge at Versailles into a château. 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. Changes were not only exterior to the palace; interior embellishments were done to please new queens in as much to complete grandiose projects such as the Royal Opera or the Royal Chapel. It was owned by the Gondi family and the priory of Saint Julian. [61]. The auction took place between 25 August 1793 and 11 August 1794. [95], The largest part of the garden is divided into geometric bosquets, compartment-like groves; eight on the north side of the garden, and six to the south. The corridor and vestibule that connected the Chapel and the State Apartments included later art, commissioned by Louis XV, intended to portray the link between Divinity and the King: a statue of Glory Holding the Medallion of Louis XV, by Antoine Vassé; and Royal Magnanimity by Jacques Bousseau. Until the official inauguration of the Palace of Versailles on 6 May 1682, the royal court often changed locations. In the centre of the Place d’Armes, facing the Avenue de Paris, is a bronze equestrian statue of Louis XIV. 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. “But for a long time now Versailles has no longer been the property of a monarchy, nor does it belong to history. Even the mirrors used in the decoration of the Hall of Mirrors were made in France. In 1722, however, it was returned to its status as royal residence. The King defeated the plot and sent his mother into exile. Owing to the nature of the construction of Versailles and the evolution of the role of the palace, construction costs were essentially a private matter. The Bull’s-Eye Salon, named for its distinctive oval window, was the anteroom where courtiers waited until the king rose. The gardens were added upon and the park was enhanced. Some of the palace furniture at this time was constructed of solid silver, but in 1689 much of it was melted down to pay for the cost of war. The chapel was completed by de Cotte in 1710, and it hosted daily masses as well as royal weddings and baptisms until 1789. [42] One of the more costly endeavours for the museum and France's Fifth Republic has been to repurchase as much of the original furnishings as possible. The marble facing and statues were covered in years of accumulated grime, obscuring the vibrant colors of the marble and the gilt fixtures as they originally appeared. [109], Accordingly, the silver balustrade, which contained in excess of one ton of silver, cost in excess of 560,000 livres. [24] The following year Louis XV ordered the demolition of the north wing facing onto the Cour Royale, which had fallen into serious disrepair. As the center of the French court, Versailles was one … [72], Another group of formal gardens is located on the north side of the water parterre. 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. References to the greater world, such as the depiction of the twelve months of the year and the four parts of the world, circle back to Louis XIV's mentality of Versailles symbolizing supreme and divine power which in turn, reflects Louis XIV's desired depiction of his reign. One part of the initiative, the restoration of the Hall of Mirrors, was completed in 2006. However, owing to Venetian proprietary claims on the technology of mirror manufacture, the Venetian government ordered the assassination of the artisans to keep the secrets proprietary to the Venetian Republic. Versailles remained the epicenter of French royal power for more than a century, until 1789, when an agitated group of revolutionaries stormed the palace … [85] Despite enormous investment in canals and machinery for hoisting water, Versailles never had sufficient water supply for its hundreds of fountains. Charles Le Brun oversaw the interior decoration. The hall is flanked on opposite ends by the equally striking Salon of Peace and Salon of War. [78] Beyond the fountain, the Grand Canal extends 1800 meters to the south end of the park. It traces the military history of France from the reign of Clovis I to Napoleon. Louis XVI was besotted with his wife and allowed her to take on a role at Court that had never been bestowed on the two previous queens, Maria Theresa of Spain and Marie Leszczyńska. 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. 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