• L’hôtel des Invalides

    Louis XIV was quite fond of warring and a lot of warring inevitably leads to a lot of veterans and invalids. Those who were lucky enough to return alive and in one piece after a campaign, could take up work… but what about those who lost a limb or were injured in a way that prevented them from caring for…

  • Notre-Dame de Paris

    That most glorious church of the most glorious Virgin Mary, mother of God, deservedly shines out, like the sun among stars. There is the saying that all roads lead to Rome. In France, all major roads lead to Notre-Dame. The point zero, from which the distance between the French cities is calculated, is located just outside Notre-Dame. Thus one could…

  • Le Palais du Louvre, Une Histoire.

    I don’t know about you, but my favourite place to be in Paris is the Louvre. Not just because it is a fabulous museum now, but more because of its very walls. Just looking at this vast building and thinking about what those venerable walls have seen… if they could talk, the stories they would tell would be by far…

  • The château de Marly and the “les Marlys”

    In 1676, before the court moved to Versailles and while Versailles was a big construction side, Louis XIV bought two estates not too far away for another large building project… which would become a château of which many said it outshone Versailles. The Sun King bought two ancient seigneuries -fiefs- called Marly-le-Chastel and Marly-le-Bourg, located between Versailles and Saint-Germain-en-Laye in a…

  • La ménagerie royale de Versailles

    Not much is left of it today, but back in the days the ménagerie royale was one of the major attractions of Versailles. The court loved animals, which can already be seen when looking at the vast amount of pets that lived at the palace. Louis XIV and his court were especially fond of dogs.   The Sun King loved Great Pyrenees,…

  • La Maison Royale de Saint-Louis

    The Maison Royale de Saint-Louis aka Saint-Cyr was created in 1684 by Louis XIV at request of his secret wife Madame de Maintenon and served as school for impoverished noble girls.   The creation of such a school was a project very dear to Madame de Maintenon. She came herself from a poor noble family, lost her parents early, and…

  • Le Grand Trianon

    After the tiles of the Trianon de porcelaine deteriorated more and more, Louis XIV ordered the small palais to be demolished and replaced with a larger structure of more lasting material. Marble.   The planning was entrusted to Jules Hardouin-Mansart, first architect of the King, who designed a palais twice the size as the previous one decorated with red marble from Languedoc.…

  • Le potager du roi

    One of the most important places of Versailles was the potager du roi -the King’s kitchen Garden- for it ensured the Sun King always had enough of his favourite vegetables and fruits on his plate. He did enjoy them quite a lot.   Louis XIV enjoyed to eat. A lot. He loved all sorts of fancy culinary delights, but he also loved…

  • Le Trianon de Porcelaine

    In the 1670’s, as the palace of Versailles was still in the making, its park bordered on a little village called Trianon.   Trianon, or Triarnum as it was called in a papal bull of Alexander III, was small but a quite old settling. While Louis XIII left it untouched as he outlined the original plans of Versailles’ gardens, Louis…

  • Palais des Tuileries

    When you stand at the large place in front of the Louvre and turn your gaze away from the palace and towards the street, you will see a beautiful garden in the distance. This garden once belonged to the Palais des Tuileries and said Palais was once connected to the Louvre, making the latter even bigger than it is today.…

  • Le Palais-Royal

    The Palais-Royal in Paris, situated pretty much across the street from the Louvre, was home to many members of the royal family, including Louis XIV during the turbulent times of the Fronde. It was there, where he, still a child, had to face an angry Parisian mob in his bedroom.   Cardinal Richelieu bought the Hôtel de Rambouillet in 1624,…

  • 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 not penetrate.   For a 17th century noble, everything that was not in the immediate surroundings of Paris was often considered province. Thus is it no…

  • Château de Saint-Cloud, Une Histoire.

    There is a gem, just west of Paris, which once was a place as grand as Versailles, the Domaine National de Saint-Cloud. Close to the banks of the Seine, on an elevation with a magnificent view of Paris, stood a much admired château, surrounded by a large park, fabulous bosquets and fountains. The Russian Tsar Peter I was there in 1717,…

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