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Hall of Mirrors

September 27, 2012

The Hall of Mirrors was erected to the glory of Louis XIV and now stands as the crowning jewel of masterpiece that is Versailles. The hall measures 73 metres long, 10.5 metres wide, and 12.3 metres high. At one end is the Salon of War, at the other is the Salon of Peace. Seventeen windows overlooking the garden are matched by seventeen arcaded mirrors along the wall. These exceptionally large mirrors were made in a Paris workshop founded by Colbert to compete with Venice’s glass factories.

I would have loved to see the Hall empty to get the true effect of the grandeur.

But when you go there it is still quite remarkable to see, even with the hundreds people that are surrounding you.

The finest ancient statues in Louis XIV’s collection, as well as busts of Roman emperors, dot the walls. The solid silver tables, lamp holders, and orange-tree pots that originally adorned the gallery, however, were all unfortunately melted down by Louis XIV himself in order to finance his wars.

The french doors off of the Hall of Mirrors exit onto balconies which over look the gardens which, seem to be endless.

On the signing of the Treaty of Nijmegen, which represented the highpoint of his reign, Louis XIV ordered Le Brun to depict his government’s accomplishments on the ceiling of the hall. Le Brun designed thirty compositions, framed by stucco-work, showing the monarch in various guises: Roman emperor, great administrator of the kingdom, and victor over foreign powers.

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