Friday 25 March 2016

5 Things you need to know about Versailles!

Okay, so this week was the premiere of a new tv show in my country. That tv show happens to be a show that I have watched already and love to death and it's no other than "Versailles"!
This show is about Louis XIV who is one of the most famous Kings of France and also the person responsible for the construction of Versailles and Les Invalides.

In my opinion, he is one of the most important Kings ever and also a favorite of mine. I want to write a proper post about him and about the Palace of Versailles but for now, I want to leave you with 5 quick facts, the most basic facts to have ever existed, so that if you don't know who Louis XIV was but still want to watch the show, you won't be confused or in the dark!

(Also, very good basic tips to impress someone. Trust me, I have tried them!).

So here we go, these are the 5 things you just need to know about Versailles (the tv show), or better yet: The 5 Things You Need to Know Before Watching Versailles! (And I may have inserted one or two random but cute facts). Check it outttt:

1. Louis XIV was the King who was on the throne for the longest time in Europe.

Yes, you have read right! He became King in 1643 when he was only 5 years old but the power was at the time trusted on Cardeal Mazarin. It was only when Mazarin died in 1661 that Louis XIV began ruling as King. That reign only ended when he died, in 1715, which means he was king for 72 years and 110 days.

2. Louis XIV is also known as The Sun-King.

 He chose the sun as his emblem because it was the sun that gave life and regulated everything and he indeed acted like the sun with his court and in his Palace. Louis XIV is the biggest example we have of absolutism, a politic ideology where the power is centered in one person, in this case, in the King.  The sun is also the symbol of Apollo, the god of peace and arts, and peace was something that Louis tried to bring to the country while he also advocated for the arts.

3. Louis XIV had a younger brother, Philippe d'Orleans

Mentioning this is very important because Philippe is a main character in the show. As you will see, Philippe is married to Henriette of England, sister to the King Charles II. Henriette was very important to negotiations between England and France but the marriage between her and Philippe wasn't quite what they wanted: Henriette always had a crush on Louis and Philippe was a known homosexual and didn't hesitate to flaunt his conquest. The most known lover he had was Chevalier de Lorraine.

4. "L'√Čtat C'est Moi"

...or I Am The State, is one of the sentences that are generally quoted when referring to Louis XIV but he never actually said it! It is known that he could be very arrogant and that there are stories that tell that when he wanted to go somewhere and called for a carriage, he would be late and then claimed "I almost waited!" when it was the carriages that, indeed, waited for him. Anyways, there's no mention at all that Louis XIV actually said he is the state, even if he was. And I mean....he could have said it, I certainly wouldn't put it past him.

5. Versailles doesn't have one single bathroom.

Yeah, that is right. This is my cute and fun trivia bullet point. And I'm sure you are wondering: "How is it possible that a Palace with 700 rooms, 60 staircases, 2,153 windows and over 1,200 fireplaces to not have a loo?" but it's true, my friends. I mean, I imagine that if you visit nowadays and wanted to take a wee they have somehow managed to build a bathroom somewhere.... after all, Versailles occupies a total area of 51,000 square meters.

And that's my 5 basic facts! I know that deep in my heart I will still want to write more about the Palace of Versailles, Louis XIV and his fam but also about the TV Show so this is not the last you've heard of Versailles. (And also if you want me to focus on something specific, I am open to suggestions, otherwise I might do a post about the women in Louis' life!)

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