France has two of most famous "palaces": Louvre and Palace of Versailles. Two former royal palaces are now one of "Four Great Museums of World" and last one is one of "Five Great Palaces". in world". .
The Palace of Versailles, inscribed on "List of World Cultural Heritage" in 1979, has been a symbol of power of supreme ruler of Kingdom of France for a century. Art Festival. But at same time, it was also a social symbol of corruption and injustice of that time. Romance and debauchery, splendor and absurdity, Bourbon dynasty went from here to prosperity, and from here to death. The Palace of Versailles is not only a royal palace, but also a vivid textbook of history of France.
At entrance to Court of Honor stands builder of Palace of Versailles - a bronze statue of "Sun King" Louis XIV on high heels and wearing a wig on horseback.
In 1661, 23-year-old French King Louis XIV ordered construction of a new palace in rural town of Versailles. His ministers were amazed because since Louvre became a royal palace, successive emperors have lived here and continued to expand it. The new location chosen by Louis is 20 kilometers away and is a swamp infested with mosquitoes.
The reason why Louis, who had just taken power, wanted to do this was due to turmoil he experienced as a child. The shadow of double flight from Paris made him decide to establish a full centralized monarchy, and he wanted to have an absolute power. And this first step is to show that he has will and ability to transcend nature and he can build a great palace that will make world a sensation in impossible places.
In France, they say that if you haven't been to Versailles, then you haven't been to France. Therefore, there are always endless serpentine lines in front of Palace of Versailles, it is usually considered good luck that you can line up at entrance for an hour.
It used to be hunting palace of Louis XIV's father, Louis XIII, with a total of 26 rooms as storerooms, armory and temporary hunting residence. Little Louis came here with his father when he was still a child. He knew how difficult it was to turn a swamp into a palace, but he decided to go to Tiger Mountain.
Louis XIV is so stubborn, in addition to waywardness, of course, he also has his own plans. To establish a centralized monarchy, power of nobility must be weakened. One of Louis' strategies is to create a luxurious atmosphere. Louis XIV built Palace of Versailles not only for himself, he wanted to gather here all princes, nobles and ministers to live with him. In this way, he can be aware of all trends at any time. He works more than eight hours a day and does everything himself.
In addition to hard work, he also worked hard to entertain, hosting sumptuous balls, feasts and celebrations every day. time to deal with the elimination of problems, gradually depriving them of strength. Behind these gilded gates, people bear exorbitant taxes and various taxes, while rich princes and nobles enjoy benefits.
To accommodate so many people, Louis XIV had to build a palace large enough with enough rooms. He used over 30,000 architects and workers and over 6,000 horses to transport stone materials, and in order to ensure enough materials, he even ordered a 10-year ban on use of stone materials in other projects throughout country. After almost half a century of construction, Louvre spent 70 million livres, or about 1.05 billion euros (8 billion yuan), on palace, gardens, fountains, artificial lakes, statues and a large building complex full of paintings.
The buildings on north and south sides of Honor Garden are intended for acolytes. Today south wing is ticket office. V. Despite fact that scale of place is already very large, there are still too many monks and too few rooms for huge princes and state institutions, so many ridiculous and ironic things have happened.
After more than an hour of waiting in line for security, you will see royal garden, and deepest part on west side is main hall where king lives and famous Hall of Mirrors. The main hall is a relatively small marble courtyard.
The Palace of Versailles is certainly much more luxurious than Louvre. All gold you see is plated with real gold, but this is also best interpretation of "gold and jade on outside but inside." During heyday of Palace of Versailles, 36,000 people lived in palace. Huge problems were not only lack of housing, but even sewerage, heating, laundry and cleaning. In magnificent Palace of Versailles, many rooms don't even have bathrooms, and prince has to defecate in bedroom fireplace, not to mention take a bath. People jokingly called rooms of Palace of Versailles "gilded cages".
And since Henry IV founded Bourbon dynasty, French nation has become a well-known nation that fears water. They believe that water is bad for body, so even a king rarely takes a bath in his life. can imagine. So this is main reason perfume was invented by French and is sought after by women.
Even if there are spirits, stench in Palace of Versailles accumulates so strongly that even spirits sometimes cannot stop it. Come back when smell is gone.
According to prescribed itinerary of tour, I received a Chinese interpreter in north wing and followed growing crowd, walking and watching. In 1674, architect Mons took over design for Palace of Versailles from late original designer Le Vau and added north and south wings on either side of nave.
However, current Palace of Versailles was rebuilt in 1833 by King Louis-Philippe of Orléans dynasty after it was washed and looted during French Revolution. Philip not only restored Palace of Versailles, but also built Arc de Triomphe, which Napoleon never built, made a great contribution to protection of French heritage.
The first thing you see in north wing is Royal Chapel, which occupies two floors. Under huge organ, a golden angel guards relief of King David playing harp. The shocking murals of dome overhead are "The Eternal Father in a halo promises God's salvation to mankind" and "The Resurrection of Christ" by French artists Antoine Coypel and Charlie Fosse.
Many royal baptisms and weddings have taken place in this chapel, including wedding of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette, who were later sent to guillotine.
Now there are 17 halls in main hall, and first thing you see is magnificent hall of Hercules. This hall was not built under Louis XIV, but Louis XV completed it and used it as a ballroom for princes and nobility. When Louis XVI was in power, it was turned into a hall for diplomatic meetings.
Hercules is god of Hercules in ancient Roman mythology, so most magnificent painting in Hall of Hercules is "Ode to Hercules" on ceiling, made by French artist Francois Lemoine 5 years ago. The painting has 142 figures, which at time was largest oil painting in Europe.
The French painter Lemoine, born in 1688, is one of founders of French Rococo art. At age of 35, he left to study in Italy and was heavily influenced by Italian court painting. At age of 48, after successful completion of this anti-aircraft painting, he was appointed chief court painter to King Louis XV. But severe depression was combined with death of his wife, and soon chief court painter committed suicide.
The largest painting on ceiling is "Simon's Family Dinner" by Italian artist Paolo Veronese. Paul is one of two main students of Titian, and three of them are also known as three masters of Italian Venetian school of painting of 16th century. Paul's most famous work is The Wedding at Cana.
The Simon Seder was written by Paul not for Palace of Versailles, but for monks of Santa Maria in Venice in 1570. In 1664, in order to unite France against Turkey, Doge of Venice presented it to Louis XIV.
The opposite of Simon's Family Feast is Rebecca at Well by Tintoretto, another great student of Titian.
Behind Hall of Hercules is Hall of Harvest, which Louis XIV used to collect rare treasures. Everyone who came to king passed here, and Louis showed his authority by showing off his collection. The colorful ceiling of Harvest Hall looks like a dream - this is “Royal Splendor”, created by French painter Antoine Hoaz in 1678-1683.
On both sides of gates of Harvest Hall there are portraits of descendants of Louis XIV. On left is eldest son of Louis XIV, Dauphin Louis Great, but his father outlived him. On right is grandson of Louis XIV and second son of Louis Great, Philip V, who was born in Palace of Versailles and later became successor of king of Spain, which provoked wars between France and other European countries. But these were not his intentions, but those led by his grandfather.
Victory in Franco-Dutch War of 1678 glorified Louis XIV in Western Europe and marked beginning of title "Sun King". But his fame and success also made many enemies. France went to war with Spain, England and Sweden. The price was huge, and war dragged on. Many gold and silver items from Palace of Versailles had to be melted down for military pay. Having failed to win war, Louis was forced to sign Rijswijk Treaty, which was unfavorable for France, and cede land to enemy.
However, by plundering overseas colonies, France also amassed great wealth and promoted economic development. It has evolved from an agrarian country into an industrial power in Eurasia. French became common language of diplomacy and high society in Europe at that time.
After four years of peace, a new crisis has arisen. After death of King of Spain, since he had no heirs, he passed to throne to his sister's grandson. His sister is Louis XIV's queen Maria, which means that Louis XIV's grandson Philip V is heir. If Louis's Bourbons accept him, other European monarchs will stop him because balance of power will be upset, but if he refuses, Spanish lands will be ceded to rival France Austria. The power-hungry Louis, of course, took throne, but at same time the longest war of his reign began, which lasted 12 years and almost destroyed France.
The Hall after harvest is Hall of Venus, also known as Hall of Venus. In ancient Roman mythology, Venus, goddess of love and beauty, personifies Venus. In niche of hall is "Statue of Louis XIV" by French sculptor Jean Vallin, but at that time Louis did not wear high heels.
Louis grew up in an era of theater obsession. He loved to dance and became a skilled dancer. He didn't mind speaking to princes and nobles. He liked being center of attention. He has blond hair and a handsome face, but he is a dwarf. So Louis, who demanded perfection, invented high heels and wore a wig to make himself look taller. He is proud of Apollo, who represents sun among ancient Roman gods, because sun symbolizes supremacy and omnipotence.
The ceiling of Venus Hall is truly magnificent and dazzling. It was also done by Antoine Hoaz, who painted ceiling of Harvest Hall, and was first painting of "Venus manifesting divinity and power in her kingdom". " ". In painting, Graces, representing femininity, elegance, and beauty respectively, are about to wear a crown of flowers for Venus in middle, while Venus's son Cupid and other angels, as well as people on earth, are watching them.
On arches of roof are four oil paintings depicting ancient heroes, which also imply great achievements of Louis XIV. This painting, "August Leading Carriage to Competition," alludes to cavalry rodeo of Louis XIV in 1662.
Next is Hall of Moon, also known as Hall of Diana. In ancient Roman mythology, goddess of moon is Diana, who is also twin sister of sun god Apollo. In niche of hall is a bust of Louis XIV from 1665 by famous Italian sculptor Gio Lorenzo Bernini.
This master sculptor had many large-scale masterpieces in Rome, including Fountain of Four Rivers in Piazza Navona and St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican. The 284 Tuscaran columns, like pope stretching out his arms to embrace faithful, are unforgettable for all those who climb to top of church and look down. However, Bernini did not attract attention of Louis XIV while he was in France, so after completing bust he returned to Italy.
The frescoes on roof of this hall are mainly associated with Diana, goddess of moon. At four corners are three lilies, symbolizing King Louis XIV.
During time of Louis XIV it was also known as "Hall of Applause". Because every time there's a dinner party, this room becomes a billiard room. Around table are well-dressed women who applaud every time king hits target, and in this hall there is always applause. Not only watching Louis XIV play ball, but how king dresses in morning and eats in evening, have become subjects for which nobles compete for admiration, and flattering king has become only thing that princes and nobles do every day. .
The reason many of rooms in Palace of Versailles are called planets and moons is because main hall of palace is called Hall of Apollo, which is hall of "Sun King" to which Louis XIV compared himself. is located here. This is most luxurious in entire Palace of Versailles, except for Hall of Mirrors, all places are golden and dazzling. Four corners of columns and walls of gilded brass, a ceiling of gilded reliefs, and even walls of velvet trimmed with crimson filigree.
However, "Sun King" will fade in time. Louis outlived many of his descendants, but this also caused him to endure double whammy of death of his descendants and decline of country. After death of Louis XIV, his five-year-old great-grandson Louis XV succeeded to throne. Many years of war in France forced all hopes to be placed on this young child, however, as he grew older, Louis XV, who was born in Palace of Versailles, not only inherited extravagance and lasciviousness of his great-grandfather, but even more.
When Palace of Versailles was filled with descendants of Louis XV, Louis began to declare war on longtime rivals France, England and Austria, losing huge French colonies in India, Canada and on west bank of Mississippi. River.
The Treaty of Paris signed in 1763 was one of most humiliating events of French monarchy, and also marked loss of New World for France. This is one of reasons why lingua franca of modern world is English and not French.
As Louis XV's most trusted lover, son who inherited throne, and queen who died one after other, his spirit grew worse and worse. In end, he wanted to maintain absolute power of monarchy through grand wedding of his grandson Louis XVI, so he began to continue construction of opera house, which his great-grandfather had not renovated, in Palace of Versailles. In end, Louis XV died of smallpox. When death of king was announced, no one cared, and even whole country celebrated.
In 1775, Louis XVI and queen were crowned at Palace of Versailles and people had their hopes in a new king, but weak Louis XVI was doomed to a tragic life and he was powerless to save a dynasty that was on verge of collapse.. Just 14 years, angry Parisians broke into Palace of Versailles after storming of Bastille, and family of Louis XVI was taken away from place where they had lived since childhood. In end, 38-year-old Louis XVI fell on guillotine, now called Place de la Concorde, and became only executed king in history of France.
The Hall of Mirrors, largest and most luxurious hall of Palace of Versailles, is located in center of Palace of Versailles. 17 large French windows with round arches overlook garden, opposite windows there are 357 mirrors, 17 arched mirrors size of French windows. Do not underestimate these mirrors. Mirrors in 17th century were very expensive things. Only Venice can make mirrors that can reflect people without deformation. Louis XIV required that mirrors be made with Venetian craftsmanship, and craftsmen like them had to go to Venice. Steal technology.
After six years of construction, Hall of Mirrors was completed in 1684. Louis XIV was also shocked when he saw it for first time. The light refracted by mirror and hundreds of candles in hall made this place noble, luxurious and luxurious. He wanted to build a dream that would make all palaces into a world eclipse. That's why he's here to meet foreign missions, hold royal weddings and grand balls... He wants everyone in his palace to be dumbfounded and convinced.
Louis XV's parents also held a grand wedding in the Hall of Mirrors. They loved each other very much, but, unfortunately, both died of measles when Louis XV was two years old.
The vault of Great Rectangular Hall of Mirrors presents glorious history of Louis XIV in pre- and mid-term period, depicted by Charles Lebrun, that is, eighteen years from 1661 until signing of Treaty of Nijmegen. Contract. Although due to many years of wars and an extravagant life, he lost his great image and super popularity in later years, it cannot be denied that in first 18 years, military power of France always retained first place in Western Europe. done, and today this palace of his dreams delights people all over world.
Lebrun was called "the greatest French painter of era" by Louis XIV for his skillful expression of Louis XIV's achievements in form of ancient Roman mythology. In many of his paintings, Louis and Apollo are all in one.
The Hall of Mirrors of Palace of Versailles, like Notre Dame de Paris on Ile de la Cité, embodied highest level of French politics of that time and, of course, witnessed many historical moments, including humiliations from other countries.
In connection with defeat of France in Franco-Prussian War, on January 18, 1871, King Wilhelm I of Prussia was crowned Emperor of German Empire in Hall of Mirrors. However, France regarded World War I as a step back and "Treaty of Versailles" that marked end of World War I was also signed in Hall of Mirrors, but France also paid a huge price in war.
Louis XIV's endless desire for fame and splendor is also reflected in vast garden of Palace of Versailles with an area of 100 hectares, where there are not only green flower beds, sculptural fountains, but also a 1.6-kilometer artificial cross-shaped Grand Canal. . However, Louis XIV, who was looking for success, also used method of pulling seedlings to stimulate growth. All trees were mature trees pulled from elsewhere in France and planted here.
Trees can be moved, but lack of running water in Versailles area is hard to fix. The hundreds of fountains built by Le Nôtre were in fact not fit for use at all, and only when king was walking in garden did gardener open water taps, about to approach fountains, let fountains splash with water and close them. off when he left.
William Rich Newton, an expert on history of Palace of Versailles, wrote in his book "Beyond Gates" that when Louis XIV held a banquet, there should have been 8 broths, 10 appetizers, 4 kebabs and 8 dishes for each person: 1 Chinese dish, 2 salads, 4 fruits and 6 desserts. The Palace of Versailles constantly produces a huge amount of waste. But life of royal family is not superficially glamorous. In addition to lack of bathrooms, which we mentioned earlier, places for washing are also very cramped. Royal shirts and underwear are washed even in large stable's drinking bowl, and problem of water pollution is acute.
After Louis XVI was taken away from here, Palace of Versailles was also plundered many times: furniture, frescoes, tapestries and other items were looted, and doors and windows were broken. Louis Philippe and later benefactors, as well as French government, gradually restored it to way we see it today. The Hall of Mirrors is now occasionally used by French government to welcome foreign heads of state.
Times have changed and Palace of Versailles has evolved from a former royal palace into a palace of arts with historical imprints. No one can stop wheel of history, but Palace of Versailles has undoubtedly become a witness and a monument to history. .
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