The Conciergerie is a building in Paris, located on the west of the Île de la Cité a prison but presently used for law courts. It was part of the former royal palace, the Palais de la Cité, which consisted of the Conciergerie, Palais de Justice and the Sainte-Chapelle. Hundreds of prisoners during the French Revolution were taken from the Conciergerie to be executed by guillotine at a number of locations around Paris; the west part of the island was the site of a Merovingian palace, was known as the Palais de la Cité. From the 10th to the 14th centuries, it was the main palace of the medieval Kings of France. During the reigns of Louis IX and Philippe IV the Merovingian palace was extended and fortified more extensively. Louis IX added the Sainte-Chapelle and associated galleries, while Philippe IV created the towered facade on the Seine river side and a large hall. Both are excellent examples of French secular architecture of the period; the Sainte-Chapelle was built in the French royal style to house the crown of thorns, brought back from the Crusades and to serve as a royal chapel.
The "Grande Salle" was one of the largest in Europe, its lower story, known as "La Salle des Gens d'Armes" survives at 64m long, 27.5m wide and 8.5m high. It was used as a dining room for the 2,000 staff members, it lit by many windows, now blocked. It was used for royal banquets and judicial proceedings; the neighboring Salle des Gardes was used as an antechamber to the Great Hall above, where the king held his lit de justice. The early Valois kings continued to modify the palace during the 14th century, but Charles V abandoned the palace during 1358, relocating across the river to the Louvre Palace; the palace continued to serve an administrative function and still included the chancellery and French Parliament. In the king's absence, he appointed a concierge to command of the palace, a fact which gave the palace its eventual name. During 1391, part of the building was converted for use as a prison and took its name from the ruling office, its prisoners were a mixture of political prisoners. In common with other prisons of the time, the treatment of prisoners was dependent on their wealth and associates.
Wealthy or influential prisoners got their own cells with a bed and materials for reading and writing. Less-well-off prisoners could afford to pay for furnished cells known as pistoles, which would be equipped with a rough bed and a table; the poorest, known as the pailleux from the paille that they slept on, would be confined to dark, vermin-infested cells known as oubliettes. In keeping with the name, they were left to live or die in conditions that were ideal for the plague and other infectious diseases, which were rife in the unsanitary conditions of the prison. Three towers survive from the medieval Conciergerie: the Caesar Tower, named in honor of the Roman Emperors; the building was extended during the reigns of kings with France's first public clock being installed about 1370. The current clock dates from 1535; the ten month Reign of Terror had a profound effect on France. More than 40,000 people died from execution and imprisonment, France would not be a republic again for nearly half a century.
The National Convention enacted the Law of Suspects on September 17, 1793. This act declared that anyone considered a counter-revolutionary or enemy of the republic was guilty of treason and, condemned to death; the Revolutionary Tribunal was set up in the Palace of Justice. The two fates for those sent before the tribunal were acquittal or death, with no possibility of appeal. Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville, a radical, was named public prosecutor; the Tribunal sat in the Great Hall between 2 April 1793 and 31 May 1795 and sent nearly 2,600 prisoners to the guillotine. The Conciergerie prison became the main penitentiary of a network of prisons throughout Paris, was the last place of housing for more than 2,700 people, who were summarily executed by guillotine; the dank dungeons were a stark contrast to the beautiful architecture of the palace above. The quality of life of the prisoners was based on their personal wealth and the whims of the jailers; the revolutionary period continued the prison's tradition of interning prisoners based on wealth, such that wealthier prisoners could rent a bed for 27 livres 12 sous for the first month, 22 livres 10 sous for subsequent months.
When the price was decreased to 15 livres, the commanders of the prison made a fortune: as the Terror escalated, a prisoner could pay for a bed and be executed a few days freeing the bed for a new inmate who would pay as well. One memoirist termed the Conciergerie "the most lucrative furnished lodgings in Paris". Only celebrity prisoners were assigned cells to themselves. Most of the pistole inmates were stuffed into a single room that abutted a local hospital, making disease an inevitability; the cramped cells were infested with rats, the stench of urine permeated every room. All the prisoners, except those locked in the dungeons, were allowed to walk about the prisoners' gallery from 8 a.m. to an hour before sunset. Roll call was always a tortuous proceeding because many of the jail
Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel
The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel is a triumphal arch in Paris, located in the Place du Carrousel. It is an example of Corinthian style architecture, it was built between 1806 and 1808 to commemorate Napoleon's military victories of the previous year. The Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile, at the far end of the Champs Élysées, was designed in the same year; the monument is 63 feet high, 75 feet wide, 24 feet deep. The 21 feet high central arch is flanked by two smaller ones, 14 feet high, 9 feet wide. Around its exterior are eight Corinthian columns of marble, topped by eight soldiers of the Empire. On the pediment, between the soldiers, bas-reliefs depict: the Arms of the Kingdom of Italy with figures representing History and the Arts the Arms of the French Empire with Victory, Fame and Abundance Wisdom and Strength holding the arms of the Kingdom of Italy, accompanied by Prudence and Victory. Napoleon's diplomatic and military victories are commemorated by bas-reliefs executed in rose marble, they depict: the Peace of Pressburg Napoleon entering Munich Napoleon entering Vienna, sculptor Louis-Pierre Deseine the Battle of Austerlitz, sculptor Jean-Joseph Espercieux the Tilsit Conference the surrender of Ulm, sculptor Pierre CartellierThe arch is derivative of the triumphal arches of the Roman Empire, in particular that of Septimius Severus in Rome.
The subjects of the bas-reliefs devoted to the battles were selected by the director of the Napoleon Museum, Vivant Denon, designed by Charles Meynier. The upper frieze on the on entablement has sculptures of soldiers: Auguste Marie Taunay's cuirassier, Charles-Louis Corbet's dragoon, Joseph Chinard's horse grenadier and Jacques-Edme Dumont's sapper; the quadriga atop the entablement is a copy of the so-called Horses of Saint Mark that adorn the top of the main door of the St Mark's Basilica in Venice but during both French empires the originals were brought up for special occasions. Designed by Charles Percier and Pierre François Léonard Fontaine, the arch was built between 1806 and 1808 by the Emperor Napoleon I, on the model of the Arch of Constantine in Rome, as a gateway of the Tuileries Palace, the Imperial residence; the destruction of the Tuileries Palace during the Paris Commune in 1871, allowed an unobstructed view west towards the Arc de Triomphe. It was surmounted by the Horses of Saint Mark from Saint Mark's Cathedral in Venice, captured in 1798 by Napoleon.
In 1815, following the Battle of Waterloo and the Bourbon restoration, France ceded the quadriga to the Austrian Empire which had annexed Venice under the terms of the Congress of Vienna. The Austrians returned the statuary to Venice; the horses of Saint Mark were replaced in 1828 by a quadriga sculpted by Baron François Joseph Bosio, depicting Peace riding in a triumphal chariot led by gilded Victories on both sides. The composition commemorates the Restoration of the Bourbons following Napoleon's downfall; the Arc du Carrousel inspired the design of Marble Arch, constructed in London between 1826 and 1833. The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel is at the eastern end of Paris Axe historique, a nine-kilometre-long linear route which dominates much of the northwestern quadrant of the city. Looking west, the arch is aligned with the obelisk in the Place de la Concorde, the centerline of the grand boulevard Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe at the Place de l'Étoile, although it is not directly visible from the Place du Carrousel, the Grande Arche de la Défense.
Thus, the axis ends with an arch. When the Arc du Carrousel was built, however, an observer in the Place du Carrousel was impeded from any view westward; the central part of the Palais des Tuileries intervened to block the line of sight to the west. When the Tuileries was burned down during the Paris Commune in 1871, its ruins were swept away, the great axis, as it presently exists, was opened all the way to the Place du Carrousel and the Louvre
The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history; the causes of the French Revolution are still debated among historians. Following the Seven Years' War and the American Revolution, the French government was in debt, it attempted to restore its financial status through unpopular taxation schemes, which were regressive.
Leading up to the Revolution, years of bad harvests worsened by deregulation of the grain industry and environmental problems inflamed popular resentment of the privileges enjoyed by the aristocracy and the Catholic clergy of the established church. Some historians hold something similar to what Thomas Jefferson proclaimed: that France had "been awakened by our Revolution." Demands for change were formulated in terms of Enlightenment ideals and contributed to the convocation of the Estates General in May 1789. During the first year of the Revolution, members of the Third Estate took control, the Bastille was attacked in July, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was passed in August, the Women's March on Versailles forced the royal court back to Paris in October. A central event of the first stage, in August 1789, was the abolition of feudalism and the old rules and privileges left over from the Ancien Régime; the next few years featured political struggles between various liberal assemblies and right-wing supporters of the monarchy intent on thwarting major reforms.
The Republic was proclaimed in September 1792 after the French victory at Valmy. In a momentous event that led to international condemnation, Louis XVI was executed in January 1793. External threats shaped the course of the Revolution; the Revolutionary Wars beginning in 1792 featured French victories that facilitated the conquest of the Italian Peninsula, the Low Countries and most territories west of the Rhine – achievements that had eluded previous French governments for centuries. Internally, popular agitation radicalised the Revolution culminating in the rise of Maximilien Robespierre and the Jacobins; the dictatorship imposed by the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror, from 1793 until 1794, established price controls on food and other items, abolished slavery in French colonies abroad, de-established the Catholic church and created a secular Republican calendar, religious leaders were expelled, the borders of the new republic were secured from its enemies. After the Thermidorian Reaction, an executive council known as the Directory assumed control of the French state in 1795.
They suspended elections, repudiated debts, persecuted the Catholic clergy, made significant military conquests abroad. Dogged by charges of corruption, the Directory collapsed in a coup led by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799. Napoleon, who became the hero of the Revolution through his popular military campaigns, established the Consulate and the First Empire, setting the stage for a wider array of global conflicts in the Napoleonic Wars; the modern era has unfolded in the shadow of the French Revolution. All future revolutionary movements looked back to the Revolution as their predecessor, its central phrases and cultural symbols, such as La Marseillaise and Liberté, fraternité, égalité, ou la mort, became the clarion call for other major upheavals in modern history, including the Russian Revolution over a century later. The values and institutions of the Revolution dominate French politics to this day; the Revolution resulted in the suppression of the feudal system, emancipation of the individual, a greater division of landed property, abolition of the privileges of noble birth, nominal establishment of equality among men.
The French Revolution differed from other revolutions in being not only national, for it intended to benefit all humanity. Globally, the Revolution accelerated the rise of democracies, it became the focal point for the development of most modern political ideologies, leading to the spread of liberalism, radicalism and secularism, among many others. The Revolution witnessed the birth of total war by organising the resources of France and the lives of its citizens towards the objective of military conquest; some of its central documents, such as the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, continued to inspire movements for abolitionism and universal suffrage in the next century. Historians have pointed to many events and factors within the Ancien Régime that led to the Revolution. Rising social and economic inequality, new political ideas emerging from the Enlightenment, economic mismanagement, environmental factors leading to agricultural failure, unmanageable national debt, political mismanagement on the part of King Louis XVI have all been cited as laying the groundwork for the Revolution.
Over the course of the 18th century, there emerged what the philosopher Jürgen Habermas called the idea of the "public sphere" in France and elsewhere
The Palais-Royal called the Palais-Cardinal, is a former royal palace located in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France. The screened entrance court faces the Place du Palais-Royal, opposite the Louvre. In 1830 the larger inner courtyard of the palace, the Cour d'Honneur, was enclosed to the north by what was the most famous of Paris's covered arcades, the Galerie d'Orléans. Demolished in the 1930s, its flanking rows of columns still stand between the Cour d'Honneur and the popular Palais-Royal Gardens; the Palais-Royal now serves as the seat of the Ministry of the Constitutional Council. Called the Palais-Cardinal, the palace was the personal residence of Cardinal Richelieu; the architect Jacques Lemercier began his design in 1629. Upon Richelieu's death in 1642 the palace became the property of the King and acquired the new name Palais-Royal. After Louis XIII died the following year, it became the home of the Queen Mother Anne of Austria and her young sons Louis XIV and Philippe, duc d'Anjou, along with her advisor Cardinal Mazarin.
From 1649, the palace was the residence of the exiled Henrietta Maria and Henrietta Anne Stuart and daughter of the deposed King Charles I of England. The two had escaped England in the midst of the English Civil War and were sheltered by Henrietta Maria's nephew, King Louis XIV. Henrietta Anne was married to Louis' younger brother, Philippe de France, duc d'Orléans in the palace chapel on 31 March 1661; the following year the new duchesse d'Orléans gave birth to a daughter, Marie Louise d'Orléans, inside the palace. After their marriage, the palace became the main residence of the House of Orléans; the Duchess created the ornamental gardens of the palace, which were said to be among the most beautiful in Paris. Under the new ducal couple, the Palais-Royal would become the social center of the capital; the court gatherings at the Palais-Royal were famed all around the capital as well as all of France. It was at these parties that the crème de la crème of French society came to be seen. Guests included the main members of the royal family like Anne of Austria.
Philippe's favourites were frequent visitors. The palace was redecorated and new apartments were created for the Duchess's maids and staff. Several of the women who came to be favourites to King Louis XIV were from her household: Louise de La Vallière, who gave birth there to two sons of the king, in 1663 and 1665. After Henrietta Anne died in 1670 the Duke took a second wife, the Princess Palatine, who preferred to live in the Château de Saint-Cloud. Saint-Cloud thus became the main residence of her eldest son and the heir to the House of Orléans, Philippe Charles d'Orléans known as the duc de Chartres. In 1692, on the occasion of the marriage of the duc de Chartres to Françoise Marie de Bourbon, Mademoiselle de Blois, a legitimised daughter of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan, the King deeded the Palais-Royal to his brother. For the convenience of the bride, new apartments were built and furnished in the wing facing east on the rue de Richelieu, it was at this time that Philippe commissioned the gallery for his famous Orleans Collection of paintings, accessible to the public.
The architect was Jules Hardouin-Mansart, the cost of this reconstruction was totaled to be 400,000 livres. Hardouin-Mansart's assistant, François d'Orbay, prepared a general site plan, showing the Palais-Royal before these alterations were made; the garden shown on the plan was designed by André Lenôtre. After the dismissal of Madame de Montespan and the arrival of her successor, Madame de Maintenon, who forbade any lavish entertainment at Versailles, the Palais-Royal was again a social highlight; when the Duke of Orléans died in 1701, his son became the head of the House of Orléans. The new Duke and Duchess of Orléans took up residence at the Palais-Royal. Two of their daughters, Charlotte Aglaé d'Orléans the Duchess of Modena, Louise Diane d'Orléans the Princess of Conti, were born there. Over a decade or so, sections of the Palais were transformed into shopping arcades that became the centre of 18th-century Parisian social and social life. Inspired by the souks of Arabia, the Galerie de Bois, a series of wooden shops linking the ends of the Palais Royal, was first opened in 1786.
For Parisians, who lived in the virtual absence of pavements, the streets were dirty. Thus, the Palais-Royal began what the architect, Bertrand Lemoine, describes as l’Ère des passages couverts, which transformed European shopping habits between 1786 and 1935. Designed to attract the genteel middle class, the Palais-Royal sold luxury goods at high prices. However, prices were never a deterrent, as these new arcades came to be the place to shop and to be seen. Arcades offered shoppers the promise of an enclosed space away from the chaos that characterised the noisy, dirty streets. Promenading in the arcades became a popular eighteenth century pastime for the emerging middle classes. Within a decade, new arcades were opened at the Palais site, it was transformed into a complex of gardens and entertainment venues situated on the external perimeter of the grounds, under the original colonnades; the area bo
A town square is an open public space found in the heart of a traditional town used for community gatherings. Other names for town square are civic center, city square, urban square, market square, public square, piazza and town green. Most town squares are hardscapes suitable for open markets, political rallies, other events that require firm ground. Being centrally located, town squares are surrounded by small shops such as bakeries, meat markets, cheese stores, clothing stores. At their center is a fountain, monument, or statue. Many of those with fountains are called fountain square. In urban planning, a city square or urban square is a planned open area in a city. In Mainland China, People's Square is a common designation for the central town square of modern Chinese cities, established as part of urban modernization within the last few decades; these squares are the site of government buildings and other public buildings. The best-known and largest such square in China is Tienanmen Square.
The German word for square is Platz, which means "Place", is a common term for central squares in German-speaking countries. These have been focal points of public life in cities from the Middle Ages to today. Squares located opposite a Palace or Castle are named Schlossplatz. Prominent Plätze include the Alexanderplatz, Pariser Platz and Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, Heldenplatz in Vienna, the Königsplatz in Munich. A piazza is a city square in Italy, along the Dalmatian coast and in surrounding regions. San Marco in Venice may be the worlds best known; the term is equivalent to the Spanish plaza. In Ethiopia, it is used to refer to a part of a city; when the Earl of Bedford developed Covent Garden – the first private-venture public square built in London – his architect Inigo Jones surrounded it with arcades, in the Italian fashion. Talk about the piazza was connected in Londoners' minds not with the square as a whole, but with the arcades. A piazza is found at the meeting of two or more streets.
Most Italian cities have several piazzas with streets radiating from the center. Shops and other small businesses are found on piazzas. Many metro stations and bus stops are found on piazzas. In Britain, piazza now refers to a paved open pedestrian space, without grass or planting in front of a significant building or shops. King's Cross station in London is to have a piazza as part of its redevelopment; the piazza will replace the existing 1970s concourse and allow the original 1850s façade to be seen again. There is a good example of a piazza in Scotswood at Newcastle College. In the United States, in the early 19th century, a piazza by further extension became a fanciful name for a colonnaded porch. Piazza was used by some in the Boston area, to refer to a verandah or front porch of a house or apartment. A central square just off Gibraltar's Main Street, between the Parliament Building and the City Hall named John Mackintosh Square is colloquially referred to as The Piazza. A large open square common in villages and cities of Indonesia is known as alun-alun.
It is a Javanese term which in modern-day Indonesia refers to the two large open squares of kraton compounds. It is located adjacent a mosque or a palace, it is a place for court celebrations and general non-court entertainments. In traditional Persian architecture, town squares are known as meydan. A maydan is considered as one of the essential features in urban planning and they are adjacent to bazaars, large mosques and other public buildings. Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan and Azadi Square in Tehran are examples of classic and modern squares. Squares are called "markt" because of the usage of the square as a market place; every town in Belgium and the southern part of the Netherlands has a "Grote Markt" or "Grand Place" in French. The "Grote Markt" is the place where the town hall is situated and therefore the centre of the town; the same naming can be found in surrounding regions as for example Cologne has several central squares named "-markt" or "Markt". In Russia, central square is a common term for an open area in the heart of the town.
In a number of cities this square does not have an individual name, i.e. named so: Tsentráĺnaya Plóshchad́, e.g. Central Square. Throughout Spain, Spanish America, the Spanish East Indies, the plaza mayor of each center of administration held three related institutions: the cathedral, the cabildo or administrative center, which might be incorporated in a wing of a governor's palace, the audiencia or law court; the plaza remains a center of community life, only equaled by the market-place. This open space at the center of the cities is from the Mediterranean where public spaces always had important role for public life; the origin of the word Plaza is, via Latin platea, from Greek πλατεῖα plateia, meaning "broad". The Plaza is the heir to the Roman "Forum", this is the heir of the Greek. Most viceregal cities in Spanish America and the Philippines were planned around a square "plaza de armas", where troops could be mustered, as the name implies, surrounded by the governor's palace and the main church.
In the United Kingdom, in London and Edinburgh, a "square" has a wider meaning. There are public squares of the type desc
Jules Hardouin-Mansart was a French Baroque architect and builder whose major work included the Place des Victoires. His monumental work was designed to glorify the reign of Louis XIV of France. Born Jules Hardouin in Paris in 1646, he studied under his renowned great-uncle François Mansart, one of the originators of the classical tradition in French architecture, he began his career as an entrepreneur in building construction, in partnership with his brother Michel, but decided in 1672 to devote himself to architecture. In 1674 he became one of the group of royal architects working for Louis XIV, his first important project was the Château de Clagny, built for the King's consort, Madame de Montespan. He showed he was a master of bureaucratic diplomacy as well as design and construction, he studied under and collaborated with landscape designer André Le Nôtre, before working directly with the King himself. In 1677 he began working on the expansion of the royal Palace of Versailles, a project which occupied him for the rest of his life.
Soon afterward became a member of the Royal Academy of Architecture. In 1678 he became director of the work at Versailles. and the most prominent architect in the royal entourage. He was named First Architect of the King in 1681 and was raised to the nobility in 1682, he became intendant of the King in 1685, royal inspector-general of buildings 1691, under the elderly superintendent of buildings, whom he replaced in 1699. He owed his rise not just for his ability to please his patron with his designs, but because of his ability to manage enormous and complex projects with many elements and designers, he would sketch out an idea. In the latter part of his career he left more of the details to the architects who worked under him, notably Robert de Cotte, his chosen successor, he was given the title of Count of Sagonne in 1702, but died six months at the royal residence of Marly. Hardouin-Mansart was the leading master of the architectural style that became known as the Louis XIV style or French classicism.
A particular skill of Hardouin was his ability to create a wide variety of structures. He demonstrated an ability to adapt, modify and rehabilitate, without losing the character of the original building, but adding his own original variations on the theme, as he demonstrated in particular at the Palace of Versailles. Much of his success was due to his ability to select and guide talented collaborators, his collaborators included the interior designer Charles Le Brun, who designed many of the interiors of Versailles, in perfect harmony with his architecture, Robert de Cotte, a designer who became his son-in-law and in 1708 became his successor, completing the major projects he had begun in the Palace of Versailles. His architecture is characterized by simplification, he used long rows of columns in front of a facade to give an air of grandeur and to hide the irregularities of the structure. He used the architectural orders to give a special majesty to interior surfaces in the chapel of Versailles, the interiors of the Palace of Versailles and the Grand Trianon.
He was adept at creating a sense of awe, as he demonstrated in the dome of Les Invalides and in the garden facade of the Palace of Versailles, in the Hall of Mirrors a Versailles. On March 1, 1676, François-Michel le Tellier, Marquis de Louvois, the Minister of War, summoned Hardouin-Mansart to take over construction of Les Invalides, the enormous hospital and chapel the King was building in the center of Paris for his pensioned and wounded soldiers; the project had been begun in 1671 by Libéral Bruant, some of the residential buildings were completed and occupied, but the centerpiece, the chapel for the soldiers, had not been begun. The King was not satisfied with the plans that were offered to him by Bruant, complained about the slowness of the work. On March 1, 1676, Louvois dismissed Bruant and summoned Hardouin-Mansart, little known outside the royal household, asked him to take over the church; the chapel planned by Bruant for the veterans was modest in size and decoration. Hardouin-Mansart proposed a much more grandiose project with two adjoining parts.
This was beyond what the Minister had proposed, but it pleased the King, after long discussion, Hardouin-Mansart was given the project not only for the church, but for the Hôtel as well. Hardouin-Mansart briskly organized and completed the construction of residences and infirmaries for the pensioners. In 1676 he began work on the portion of the church intended for the pensioners. By the summer of 1677 the roof was in place, in April 1678 he was able to order the woodwork of the stalls, in 1679, the cabinetry for the organ; the work on the royal chapel proceeded more slowly. Its distinctive feature was the dome
Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles was the principal royal residence of France from 1682, under Louis XIV, until the start of the French Revolution in 1789, under Louis XVI. It is located in the department of Yvelines, in the region of Île-de-France, about 20 kilometres southwest of the centre of Paris; the palace is now a Monument historique and UNESCO World Heritage site, notable for the ceremonial Hall of Mirrors, the jewel-like Royal Opera, the royal apartments. The Palace was stripped of all its furnishings after the French Revolution, but many pieces have been returned and many of the palace rooms have been restored. In 2017 the Palace of Versailles received 7,700,000 visitors, making it the second-most visited monument in the Île-de-France region, just behind the Louvre and ahead of the Eiffel Tower; the site of the Palace was first occupied by a small village and church, surrounded by forests filled with abundant game. It was owned by the priory of Saint Julian. King Henry IV went hunting there in 1589, returned in 1604 and 1609, staying in the village inn.
His son, the future Louis XIII, came on his own hunting trip there in 1607. After he became King in 1610, Louis XIII returned to the village, bought some land, in 1623-24 built a modest two-story hunting lodge on the site of the current marble courtyard, he was staying there in November 1630 during the event known as the Day of the Dupes, when the enemies of the King's chief minister, Cardinal Richelieu, aided by the King's mother, Marie de' Medici, tried to take over the government. The King sent his mother into exile. After this event, Louis XIII decided to make his hunting lodge at Versailles into a château; the King purchased the surrounding territory from the Gondi family, in 1631–1634 had the architect Philibert Le Roy replace the hunting lodge with a château of brick and stone with classical pilasters in the doric style and high slate-covered roofs, surrounding the courtyard of the original hunting lodge. The gardens and park were enlarged, laid out by Jacques Boyceau and his nephew, Jacques de Menours, reached the size they have today.
Louis XIV first visited the château on a hunting trip in 1651 at the age of twelve, but returned only until his marriage to Maria Theresa of Spain in 1660 and the death of Cardinal Mazarin in 1661, after which he acquired a passion for the site. He decided to rebuild and enlarge the château and to transform it into a setting for both rest and for elaborate entertainments on a grand scale; the first phase of the expansion was supervised by the architect Louis Le Vau. He added two wings to the forecourt, one for servants quarters and kitchens, the other for stables. In 1668 he added three new wings built of stone, known as the envelope, to the north and west of the original château; these buildings had nearly-flat roofs covered with lead. The king commissioned the landscape designer André Le Nôtre to create the most magnificent gardens in Europe, embellished with fountains, basins, geometric flower beds and groves of trees, he added two grottos in the Italian style and an immense orangerie to house fruit trees, as well as a zoo with a central pavilion for exotic animals.
After Le Vau's death in 1670, the work was taken over and completed by his assistant François d'Orbay. The main floor of the new palace contained two symmetrical sets of apartments, one for the king and the other for the queen, looking over the gardens; the two apartments were separated by a marble terrace, overlooking the garden, with a fountain in the center. Each set of apartments was connected to the ground floor with a ceremonial stairway, each had seven rooms, aligned in a row. On the ground floor under the King's apartment was another apartment, the same size, designed for his private life, decorated on the theme of Apollo, the Sun god, his personal emblem. Under the Queen's apartment was the apartment of the Grand Dauphin, the heir to the throne; the interior decoration was assigned to Charles Le Brun. Le Brun supervised the work of a large group of sculptors and painters, called the Petite Academie, who crafted and painted the ornate walls and ceilings. Le Brun supervised the design and installation of countless statues in the gardens.
The grand stairway to the King's apartment was soon redecorated as soon as it was completed with plaques of colored marble and trophies of arms and balconies, so the members of the court could observe the processions of the King. In 1670, Le Vau added a new pavilion northwest of the chateau, called the Trianon, for the King's relaxation in the hot summers, it was surrounded by flowerbeds and decorated with blue and white porcelain, in imitation of the Chinese style. The King spent his days in Versailles, the government and courtiers, numbering six to seven thousand persons, crowded into the buildings; the King ordered a further enlargement, which he entrusted to the young architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart. Hadouin-Mansart added two large new wings on either side of the original Cour Royale, he replaced Le Vau's large terrace, facing the garden on the west, with what bec