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The Hall of Mirrors, Versailles

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Architectural Building · History Museum
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The Hall of Mirrors is the central gallery of the Palace of Versailles in Versailles, France.As the principal and most remarkable feature of King Louis XIV of France's third building campaign of the Palace of Versailles, construction of the Hall of Mirrors began in 1678. To provide for the Hall of Mirrors as well as the salon de la guerre and the salon de la paix, which connect the grand appartement du roi with the grand appartement de la reine, architect Jules Hardouin Mansart appropriated three rooms from each apartment as well as the terrace that separated the two apartments.The principal feature of this hall is the seventeen mirror-clad arches that reflect the seventeen arcaded windows that overlook the gardens. Each arch contains twenty-one mirrors with a total complement of 357 used in the decoration of the galerie des glaces. The arches themselves are fixed between marble pilasters whose capitals depict the symbols of France. These gilded bronze capitals include the fleur-de-lys and the Gallic cockerel or rooster. Many of the other attributes of the Hall of Mirrors were lost to war for financial purposes, such as the silver table pieces and guéridons, which were melted by order of Louis XIV in 1689 to finance the War of the League of Augsburg.ConstructionIn the 17th century, mirrors were among the most expensive items to possess at the time; the Venetian Republic held the monopoly on the manufacture of mirrors. In order to maintain the integrity of his philosophy of mercantilism, which required that all items used in the decoration of Versailles be made in France, Jean-Baptiste Colbert enticed several workers from Venice to make mirrors at the Manufacture royale de glaces de miroirs. According to legend, in order to keep its monopoly, the government of the Venetian Republic sent agents to France to poison the workers whom Colbert had brought to France.
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The Hall of Mirrors reviews

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  • We attended the Serenade Royale spectacle at the castle, which is a compositon of a concert in a Chapel, a show in the Hall of Mirrors and a battle scene - fascinating! 
    We attended the Serenade Royale spectacle at the castle, which is a compositon of a concert in a Chapel, a show in the Hall of Mirrors and a battle scene - fascinating!  more »
  • I guess the hall of mirrors must not be fully opened or it looks smaller than I expected. The room was very ornate. I felt in awe that kings and queens use to walk these halls. 
    I guess the hall of mirrors must not be fully opened or it looks smaller than I expected. The room was very ornate. I felt in awe that kings and queens use to walk these halls.  more »
Google
  • Versailles was our first stop. We were celebrating Bastille Day. All of us sitting on the back steps of the palace, watching a glorious display of fireworks. Our Hotel, a very short walk from the palace. The second day was spent admiring each private house of Marie Antoinette. The sweet smell of flower gardens, ducks playing in the ponds, statues adorned the landscape. Small cafes serves coffee and desserts. The cafes were tucked behind large hedges. A small sign pointed the way in. A cat walked by each table waiting to find a scrap of food. Every minute was an adventure. A tour, history lesson, and leisurely walk through out the castle and grounds. Our guide was the very best.
  • The Hall of Mirrors is the jewel in the crown of the Palace of Versailles. It was meant to make a strong statement about the god-given power of the King, Louis XIV, who was responsible for the building of the Palace. The Hall of Mirrors is also famous for being the site where several important historical events have taken place, one of them being the Proclamation of the German Empire in 1871, after the German states had defeated France in the Franco-Prussian War, and another the signing of the Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War I, in 1919

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