Palace of Versailles is situated in the department of Yvelines, in the region of lle- de-France, in the city of Versailles, in north of France and to 20 kilometers west of southwest of Paris. Presently the palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a historical Monument.
In the location of the palace there used to be a small village and a church, which was surrounded by forests with lot of game. The owner was Gondi family. In 1589,King Henry Ⅳ went to hunt there and used to stay in the village inn in his subsequent visits in the year 1604 and 1609. In 1607, his son Louis ⅫⅠ came for hunting and when he became the king, he purchased lands and constructed a humble hunting lodge of two-story.
On November 1630, the foes of the King’s chief minister, Cardinal Richelieu with the help of the King’s mother, Marie de Medici attempted to take over the government during the event of Day of the Dupes. The plan was defeated by the king and his mother was banished. After this incident he decided to convert that hunting lodge into a castle. So he purchased, the nearby regions from the family of Gondi. He appointed Philibert Le Roy the architect to surround the courtyard of the previous hunting lodge with castle of stone and brick, high slate covered roof and classic pilasters in the Doric style. Jacques Boyceau along with his nephew, Jacques de Menours enlarged the parks and garden.
In 1661, King Louis ⅪⅤ wanted to reconstruct and expand the Castle so that it can be used for resting as well as lot of entertainment on a huge scale. Architect Louis Le Vau attached two sections to the forecourt. One for the stable and other for kitchen and servants quarters. In 1668 three new sections were added to the south, north, and west of the castle. They were covered with flat roofs. Landscape designer Andre Le Notre was engaged to beautify the gardens with statues, fountains, canals, basins, groves of trees, orangerie to have house fruit trees zoo with a pavilion, which was centrally located for exotic animals and geometric flowerbeds. In 1670, his assistant Francois d Orbay took over the work after his death. The floor above the ground floor was the main floor. It contained two uniform apartment sets overlooking the garden each for the king and queen. Individual set of apartments was linked to the ground floor with a formal stairway and individually had seven rooms, a room for the guards, a vestibule, an antechamber, a small bedroom, a large office and a small office. Under the apartment of the king was another apartment of the same size in the ground floor. It was decorated on the theme of the Sun God, Apollo for his private life. In the ground floor, was the apartment of the Grand Dauphin, the successor to the throne. It was under the apartment of the Queen. Charles Le Brun took care of the interior decoration. Under him many painters and sculptors worked who painted and crafted the ceilings and walls.
Around seven thousand people used to crowd the place as the King used to spend most of his days in Versailles. Hence an architect Jules Haedouin-Mansart was asked to expanded the palace. He constructed two additional section on each side of the Royal Courtyard. The large terrace, overlooking the garden on the west, made by Le Vau was converted into the Hall of Mirrors. He also constructed large and small stables, the Grand Trianon the relaxing place for the King. In the reign of King Louis ⅩⅤ, Salon of Hercules ,which linked the main building of the palace along with the chapel and north section and the Royal Opera Theater was constructed.
In 1783 three treaties of the Peace of Paris was signed. In October 1789, due to the Women’s March the Royal family was forced to leave the palace and return to Paris. In 1792, the new government ordered the sculptures and paintings to be transferred to the Louvre. Monarchy was abolished in 1793 and all the royal property was sold at auction. In 1793 the palace was opened for tours. Napoleon ⅠⅠⅠ hosted a lavish banquet for Queen Victoria. In 1870-1871 the palace was inhabited by German Army and parts of the castle was used for military hospital due to France-Prussian War. Proclamation of the German Empire was done in the Hall of Mirrors. In 1919 Treaty of Versailles was signed in the Hall of Mirrors. Parts of the palace were restored after the World War by Soviet. The Hall of Mirrors was restored in 2006 and Royal Opera of Versailles in 2009.
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