Palace of Versailles Symbol of the Age of Absolutism

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Louis chose to build the palace on the location of his father’s hunting lodge in Versailles. For the next two decades, the town became an enormous construction site. Le Vau added new wings and façades on every side until they completely enveloped the original hunting lodge. Illustrious additions included the Sun King’s magnificent bedroom (the Chambre du Roi), and the famous Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors).Construction of the Hall of Mirrors began in 1678. The principal feature of this famous hall is the seventeen mirror-clad arches that reflect the seventeen arcaded windows that overlook the gardens (Singleton 25).The mirrors are very decadent and decorated and they use natural light and candlelight to create awesome space. There is an Audience hall within that highlights Louis XIV’s enormous wealth and power. Ceiling frescoes illustrate Louis’s successes in war.Versailles became the home of the French nobility and the location of the royal court thus becoming the center of the French government. Symbolically the central room of the long extensive symmetrical range of buildings was the Kings Bedchamber. All the power of France emanated from this center: there were government offices here. as well as the homes of thousands of courtiers, their retinues and all the attendant functionaries of court, thus keeping the lords close at hand and securing the French government in an absolute monarchy.All major avenues radiate from and to the palace courtyard. The King’s bedchamber is the actual radiating point, which highlights the king’s centrality. Buildings create an embrace and the gardens reflect the King’s mastery over the natural world. The exterior is classical. linear and geometric that emphasizes order and stability (Ranum 20).