The Robe de Cour

Fashion was something very important at Louis XIV’s court. While the fashion for the gentleman of quality did not change too much over the years, those of the ladies of quality changed quite often.  Continue reading

Dangeau’s Diary, December 1686

10th. — The King has been very well today. He suffers very little and is very tranquil, but the intelligence he received this evening of the danger of Monsieur le Prince (le Grand Condé), hasContinue reading

La Révolte de Roure

Vivarais, spring 1670. After a hard winter had destroyed all the olive trees of Languedoc, from Montpellier to Aubenas, rumours of new taxes sparked a revolt.   The chronicler Dourille put it like this: “every dayContinue reading

Les Honneurs du Louvre

To distinguish higher ranking nobles from lower ranking ones, there was something called Les Honneurs du Louvre at Louis XIV’s court. As the name hints, it had its origins in the Louvre and consisted of specific privilegesContinue reading

Julie de Guenani, Marquise de Lassay

Julie, born between 1665 and 1668, was the natural daughter of Henri-Jules de Bourbon-Condé, at that time Duc d’Enghien, and Françoise-Charlotte de Montalais, Comtesse de Marans. She is known under various names: Julie de Bourbon,Continue reading

La Cour des Miracles

Although 17th century France had a Sun King, not everything was rainbows and sunshine. There places in various cities, were only the brave dared to walk and which the royal rays of Sun did notContinue reading

Dangeau’s Diary, November 1686

7th. — In the evening there was an Italian opera performed, at which the King was present. I am informed that the servants of the Dutch ambassador have killed, in Paris, one of their fellows,Continue reading

The War of Devolution

Lasting from 24 May 1667 to 2 May 1668, the War of Devolution was Louis XIV’s war. His first chance to win glory on the battlefield and that he did.   It all pretty much beganContinue reading

François-Timoléon de Choisy

One of my favourite people of Louis le Grand’s court is the Abbé de Choisy. A 17th century transvestite who lived a rather adventurous life.   Born in 1644 in Paris, he came from aContinue reading

Dangeau’s Diary, October 1686

2d. — Within these few days past, the King has very frequently seen the Siamese ambassadors, both in his little apartment, where he has said a thousand obliging things to them, and also in hisContinue reading

Ice cream for the Sun King

Who doesn’t enjoy a bit of ice cream on a hot summer’s day? Louis XIV certainly did. Eating ice became a fashion at the Sun King’s court in the 1660’s. The Italians did it forContinue reading

Marie-Anne de Bavière, Dauphine de France

Maria-Anna Christine Victoria born on 28 November 1660, the future mother of Spain’s first Bourbon king, was the oldest daughter of Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria, and his wife Princesse Henriette-Adélaïde de Savoie, granddaughter ofContinue reading

Louis de Rouvroy, Duc de Saint-Simon

Saint-Simon. You probably heard that name once or twice before and most likely in combination with quotes. Louis de Rouvroy, commonly called Saint-Simon, managed to write himself into the history books of the world by writingContinue reading

Dangeau’s Diary, September 1686

1st. — The King gave audience to the ambassadors from Siam, upon a throne raised for him at the end of the gallery adjoining the apartments of the Dauphine: the arrangements were admirable, and hisContinue reading

Le Appartement du Roi

The more private version of the Grand Appartement du Roi, faces the cour de marbre and served as the living quarters of Louis XIV. While the Grand Appartement was open to the nobles during the day and certainContinue reading

Dangeau’s Diary, August 1686

1st. — The King has presented Villa-Cerf with an employment to which no name has yet been given. It is partly that of comptroller-general of buildings under Monsieur de Louvois, who thereby will be relievedContinue reading

Le Grand Appartement du Roi

Setting one’s fashionably heeled feet on the polished parquet of the Grand Appartement du Roi was the highlight of every noble in 17th century France. Today, when visiting Versailles, the usual personal highlight of the visitContinue reading

François Michel Le Tellier de Louvois

Born in Paris on January 18 in 1641, François Michel Le Tellier de Louvois was the son of Michel Le Tellier. A man from a Parisian magistrate family, who became maître des requêtes under Louis XIII and, thanks toContinue reading

Jules Raymond Mazarin, Cardinal Mazarin

Born on 14 July 1602 in the Kingdom of Naples as Giulio Raimondo Mazzarini, sometimes also spelled Mazzarino, the First Minister of France comes from a rather modest background. His grandfather, Giulio Mazzarini, was a craftsmanContinue reading

Dangeau’s Diary, July 1686

3d. — The King has given one hundred thousand francs to Monsieur de Ville, the inventor of the machine for raising the waters of the Seine. His Majesty has also increased his pension by twoContinue reading

Versailles Season Three….

Season three of Canal +’s Versailles is currently being filmed in Paris and surroundings. While we had no clue what to expect from season one story-wise and had a bit of a clue for seasonContinue reading