Louis XIII's successor

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Louis XIII's successor

Post  taixyz1992 on Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:20 am

Louis XIII's successor, Louis XIV, had a great interest in Versailles. He settled on the royal hunting lodge at Versailles and over the following decades had it expanded into one of the largest palaces in the world (Félibien, 1703; Marie, 1972; Verlet, 1985). Beginning in 1661, the architect Louis Le Vau, landscape architect André Le Nôtre, and painter-decorator Charles Le Brun began a detailed renovation and expansion of the château. This was done to fulfill Louis XIV's desire to establish a new centre for the royal court. Following the Treaties of Nijmegen in 1678, he began to gradually move the court to Versailles. The court was officially established there on 6 May 1682.

By moving his court and government to Versailles, Louis XIV hoped to extract more control of the government from the nobility, and to distance himself from the population of Paris. All the power of France emanated from this center: there were government offices here, as well as the homes of thousands of courtiers, their retinues, and all the attendant functionaries of court (Solnon, 1987). By requiring that nobles of a certain rank and position spend time each year at Versailles, Louis prevented them from developing their own regional power at the expense of his own and kept them from countering his efforts to centralise the French government in an absolute monarchy (Bluche, 1986, 1991; Bendix, 1978; Solnon, 1987). The meticulous and strict court etiquette that Louis established, which overwhelmed his heirs with its petty boredom, was epitomised in the elaborate ceremonies and exacting procedures that accompanied his rising in the morning, known as the Lever, divided into a petit lever for the most important and a grand lever for the whole court. Like other French court manners, étiquette was quickly imitated in other European courts (Benichou, 1948; Bluche, 1991; Solnon 1987).

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Re: Louis XIII's successor

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