"Galerie des glaces or hall of mirrors" The Hall of Mirrors - La Galerie des Glaces Tip by gwened

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  • entrance to gallery of mirrors ,galerie des glaces - Versailles
      entrance to gallery of mirrors ,galerie des glaces
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  • the ceilings of the gallery of mirrors - Versailles
      the ceilings of the gallery of mirrors
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  • the chandeliers of the gallery of mirrors - Versailles
      the chandeliers of the gallery of mirrors
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The Galerie des glaces or the hall of mirrors inside the Palace of Versailles is a gallery of pomp of baroque style of the 17th century, designed to dazzle visitors to the absolute monarch Louis XIV at the height of its power. 73 meters long, 10.50 meters wide and lit by 17 Windows, it is coated with 357 mirrors, or 21 mirrors at each of the 17 arches facing the 17 Windows. It was designed by the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart, and built between 1678 and 1684. Its work of art and just along worth coming to the castle.

Several galleries have been able to serve as models: that of the Château de Clagny of Madame de Montespan (favorite of Louis XIV) at Clagny-Glatigny (today one of the eight districts of the city of Versailles), built by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, or that of the Château de Saint-Cloud.The project is presented to King Louis XIV by Mansart in 1679. Work began the same year on the site of a terrace (which you can still see the remains in the attic above the vaults) overlooking the West façade of the castle of Louis XIII that linked the two wings (including apartments) that Louis Le Vau built North and South of it to wrap it up. Following the construction of this gallery. The painter and decorator Charles Le Brun starts the decoration in 1680. The Gallery is opened in 1684.

The Hall of mirrors is located in the alignment of the green carpet, between war and peace, these lounges respectively giving access to the apartments of the King and the Queen.

Due to its exceptional dimensions , the wealth and the size of its 357 mirrors , the Gallery is a real event in the 17th century. It shows the capabilities of the manufacture of mirrors created by Colbert in 1665 to fight the rule of Venice in this technique. In a time where the smaller mirror is very expensive, French workers are able to manufacture mirrors of a dimension and of exceptional quality, allowing Colbert to prohibit the importation of Venetian products as early as 1672. The mirrors were made in La Glacerie, a factory of glass and mirrors, located to the South of Cherbourg .The seventeen arched windows give birth to as many arcades decorated with mirrors by chopsticks and chiseled bronze cabochons. The arcades are alternately surmounted by a head of Apollo and the remains of the Nemean lion.

The ceiling is decorated almost 1,000 m2 of workshop of Charles Le Brun paintings illustrating the achievements of the reign of Louis XIV, starring the King himself in 30 large compositions. Half of the surface is composed of (i.e. glued on the vault after having been executed) mounted canvas. These are the most prestigious stages and were painted by the Brown himself, aged 60 years at the beginning of the work. The other half is painted directly on the vault.The furniture and many statues that decorated it originally were dispersed during the French Revolution. The capitals of pilasters of Rance marble on a background of white marble are decorated with a fleur de lys and Gallic roosters. Gilded, bronze trophies that adorn the piers in green marble from Campan, were chased by the Goldsmith Pierre Ladoyreau .Eight busts of Roman emperors, in marble and porphyry, accompanied eight statues, including seven antiques, representative Bacchus, Venus (Venus of Arles and Troas), modesty, Hermes, Uchiha, Nemesis and Diane de Versailles. The latter moved to the Louvre in 1798, was replaced by a Diane sculpted by Frémin for the gardens of the Château de Marly until the restoration of the Hall of mirrors from 2004-2007 where a cast of Diane de Versailles in cultured marble is reinstalled.

During the reign of Louis XIV, the Gallery is primarily a place of passage, the King preferring to receive guests in the salons of the large apartments. Several hearings there were however granted, including one to the doge of Genoa in 1685, the ambassadors of Siam in 1686 and those of the shah of Persia in 1715. Louis XV also received the King Mahmud Ier of Turkey in 1742. Anecdotally, the Gallery lives the arrest of the Grand almoner of France the unwary Cardinal de Rohan in 1785, before his incarceration in the Bastille (epilogue to the affair of the necklace of the Queen).Gallery of mirrors was also part of major festivities such as the marriage of the future dauphin Louis XVI with Marie-Antoinette of Austria in 1770, the receipt by the general of Gaulle of President John f. Kennedy and his wife, that given in honor of the last Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi by Valéry Giscard d'Estaing in 1974 or the invitation of representatives of the "G7" by President François Mitterrand from 4 to 6 June 1982.

A magical place indeed that went there just to browse when not too many people as I lived for nine plus years in the city.

Address: pl d'armes ,78000, Versailles
Directions: inside the Palace/museum of Versailles
Website: http://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover-estate/the-palace/the-palace/the-hall-of-mirrors

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  • Written Jun 20, 2013
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