Friday, June 3, 2011

Louis XIV and Versailles

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Versailles and Louis XIV define the history of France and Europe for the 18th century in many different ways. Versailles set the ways people thought style should be when it was first constructed. Louis XIV set the ways people thought and lived. People thought his way was best and his ways lasted through the 18th century.


Louis XIV built his palace in Versailles, southwest of Paris. The palace was very large and had many different places and rooms. The Old


Chateau was built back in 16 by Louis XIII - Father of Louis XIV. The Chateau consisted of many rooms including the Grand Apartment, which led to other rooms each dedicated to a heavenly body (Venus, Diana, Mars, Mercury, and Apollo), the Hall of Mirrors, the Queen’s Suite, the Queen’s Bedchamber, the King’s Suite, the King’s Bedchamber, the Private Apartments, the King and Queen’s Cabinets, the Chapel Royal, and the Opera House. The Grand Trianon had places for everyone. There was the Trianon for the family where the king could remain close to his family. The Porcelain Trianon was built in 1670 in the garden. The Marble Trianon replaced the Porcelain Trianon in 1687. The Grand Trianon was completed in 1768.


The Queen’s Hamlet is a little village that was built in 178. It was built in the rustic half-timbering seen on farms in Normandy, but the interiors were endowed with the latest technical and decorative refinements. The Queen’s House was located on the finest part of the ‘big lake’.


Custom Essays on Louis XIV and Versailles


The Gardens and Groves were very beautiful. Fountains and sculptures are dispersed throughout the gardens. Every turn in a pathway presents new fountains, new statues, and trees pruned into unusual shapes. The grounds were laid out geometrically. Closer to the chateau were flowerbeds. Ornamental pools were used to separate the flowerbeds. When walking along a path, the existence of these marvels remains totally unsuspected. Keeps the grounds up was a very important thing. It always has been. Sculptures, fountains, and sculpted trees became even more popular during the 18th century.


The Palace consisted of many painting, sculptures, furniture, and d�cor. Paintings consisted of Christ at Supper with Simon located in the Hercules Salon, The Holy Ghost Descending on the Apostles located in the Chapel, Louis XIV located in the Apollo Salon, and Louis XIV visiting the Gobeling Manufactory. Sculptures include Apollo Tended by Nymphs of Thetis located in the Gardens, LouisXIV located in the Diana Salon, and the sculpting on the fireplace in the Hercules Salon. Furniture consisted of the Commode from Louis XIV’s bedroom in the Grand Trianon, and the Astronomical Clock in the Clock Cabinet in the Apartment of Louis XV. D�cor consisted of the glass mirror panel in the Hall of Mirrors. All these painting, sculptures, furniture, and d�cor definitely helped set history during Louis XIV’s reign. All of these had something to do with his past. They still remain there and people all over the world, especially France and Europe, have things like this in their houses also.


Louis XIV called himself the Sun King and he was also an Absolute Monarch. Louis XIV was born at the Chateau in Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 168. He was only 5 when he became king on the death of his father, Louis XIII. In 1660, Louis XIV married Maria Theresa, Infanta of Spain. The following year, on the death of his godfather and prime minister, Cardinal Mazarin, the year old monarch announced that he himself would govern. He carried out the administrative and financial reorganization of the kingdom as well as the development of trade and manufacturing and he reformed the army and racked up military victories. Louis encouraged an extraordinary blossoming of culture theatre, architecture, painting, sculpture, and all the sciences. These accomplishments are depicted on the ceiling of the Hall or Mirrors. Affairs were accepted in the royal family. The King could see another girl, or guy if he chose to do so, and the queen could see other guys, or girls, without being looked down upon. The king’ youth became the official residence of the court and government of France on May 6, 168. Under the king’s ever watchful eye, great lords no longer plotted. They remained with the army or at court, ready to please and serve. The king controlled everything. He devoted himself to his people. Versailles was open to everyone, not just courtiers. During his coronation, he swore to defend the Catholic faith. The emigration of 00,000 Protestants led him in 1685 to rescind of the Edict of Nantes. In 1700 One of Louis XIV’s grandsons was proclaimed king of Spain by right of succession. A war broke out with Europe because they did not agree with this. A series of deaths in the royal family led the king’s 5 year old grandson to the throne. Louis XIV’s nickname became Louis the Great he displayed remarkable courage during those difficult years.


The king lived a very hard yet easy live. It was hard because he had to know what e was doing to be able to be able to keep the country under his rule. It was very easy because he did everything the same every day and everything was done for him. In the morning he would wake up and his officers would dress him, bathe him, and he would eat breakfast. All the processions would take place at the same time and the same place every day. At dinner he would eat alone. At supper a crowd would fill the room for a public supper. When he was ready to sleep, his officers had to undress him and bath him again. This was the schedule for every single day.


The king wanted Versailles to be more than just a resident. It was also to be the seat of government. It had to be visible to all. So that is why royal emblems and depictions of the monarch were all over Versailles. The monarch basically governed from his Council Cabinet, aided by ministers. “Knowing the Court” was crucial. Networks were subtle and alliances often shifted.


Depending on the day, ,000-10,000 people would crowd around to see the king. Strict rules made it clear who could have access to important people. Everything was done in order by rank. Offices were inherited or purchased and entailed a duty or position. To win the monarch’s favour you were to serve him well in the army or high administration and “keep up appearances” at court. The courtiers had to have a fine figure. That was an attractive face and a witty mind. They had to make them selves appear wealthy. They had to change clothes several times a day. Perseverance, strong will, and skill were also required of a good courtier. The way people had to look still lasted throughout the 18th century. It actually became even more strict after Louis XIV.


This kind of life was very boring at times. The courtiers had to entertain one another with conversation, gaming, reading, music, and amateur theatricals. The king offered a reception or show every evening in winter. During the milder seasons the court was often away from Versailles. The Chapel Royal not only hosted daily masses but also magnificent ceremonies such as the annual reception of the Order of the Holy Spirit. Large crowds came to see the procession of knights all dressed in black embroidered with gold flames. Even larger crowds came to see the reception of exotic embassies. A series of special festivities lasted several days and would traditionally take place after weddings, military victories, and the arrival or foreign royalty. Theatre performances took place in a small theatre even after the Opera House was built.


Louis XIV respected the ritual of grand couvert on a daily basis. Protocol required that the king be accompanied by his queen, children, and grand-children. Petit couvert applied when the king dined alone. When the king ate he would go through many different courses. Yet the meal only last 45 min.


All of this is why Louis XIV and Versailles define the history of Europe and France. Louis’ lifestyle and how he governed set how the royalty went from there. Everything pretty much remained the same after him. The public people of Europe were also historically affected by Louis XIV, because his lifestyles were looked up to by the public and they wanted to live like he did.





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