Blog Post #5

Without simply repeating the lecture notes explain why Versailles Palace and Gardens were built, and the role they played during the rule of King Louis XIV

The Palace and Gardens of Versailles was an ordinary hunting lodge until Louis XIV decided to transform it into a sprawling, extravagant location. The radical improvement of Versailles continued throughout the life of The Sun King. It was originally intended to be his private hideaway, but its purpose evolved while it was being built. Ironically, it was first intended as a place for recreation, to host ladies in waiting and an escape from government. It includes a theatre, concert hall and pleasure grounds. It eventually became home to the royal court before gradually becoming the official residence of French royal family, court and government. The King insisted that nobles be present at court so he could make sure they stayed out of treacherous activity and remained faithful to his undisputed power. He wanted to keep watch over noblemen and control all facets of noble life.

The ethereal splendor Versailles served to affirm his divine kingship. The fact that he was responsible for creating a place so vast and unique was to show his mystic that could not be attained by any other. It signifies the widespread respect and high regard people had for him and establishes his power. The opulence of Versailles impressed the viewer and led people to admire his lavish material possessions. He wanted to show off the wealth, power and creative genius of France and make it known as the best country in Europe. The purpose of Versailles was to show the elevated, advanced status of France in relation to other nations.

Louis XIV also planned the garden to be a secure place for him. By being away from Paris, he was removed from any danger or civil uprising that was going on in the city. The fact that nobles had to be present at Versailles thwarted any opportunity to establish other powers that could pose a problem for the king. Thus, he had confined the nobles and was protected from another Frond.

Blog Post #5

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