The Hall of Mirrors began construction in 1678 as the main and most notable feature of King Louis XIV of France's third building campaign of the Palace of Versailles (1678–1684). The project was supervised by Jean Bologne, the king's architect.
Work on the hall was completed in 1687 after three years of labor. The hall was 40 feet wide and 90 feet long, with a height of about 14 feet. It was decorated on all four sides with mirrors in gilt and silver frames.
The hall was used for official ceremonies and as a reception room where visitors could be greeted by the king. It is said that if you walked into the hall at midnight, you would see everyone who was alive and living in France at that time.
It is also said that if you looked into your own reflection, you would see someone else standing there!
The story goes back to the day the hall was finished. On January 1, 1688, a great banquet was held there to celebrate the return from exile of King Charles II of England. During the banquet, it is said that everyone at the table saw their own image in one of the mirrors on the opposite side of the room. Then, when the last guest had gone, they found that no one was missing!
The Mirrored Hall The most renowned chamber at Versailles is the gleaming Hall of Mirrors. Between 1678 and 1684, architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart developed a wholly new and magnificent style for this beautiful Baroque reception hall. Mansart was successful in creating the grandiose atmosphere that Louis XIV envisioned.
The room is large and rectangular with a domed ceiling made of mirrored glass panels. It takes up about half of the first floor of the Palace's Grand Gallery. The walls are covered from top to bottom by a single huge mirror which reflects all the lights around it.
The effect is dazzling: you feel as if you're walking into a bright sunbeam when you enter the room. And what a sight! You see yourself surrounded by more than three hundred mirrors of various sizes arranged in such a way that no matter where you look, everything is reflected back at you again.
In addition to being impressive, the mirror room is useful too. When courtiers were summoned to appear before the king, they would enter through an antechamber full of officers who would take them before Louis XIV in the mirror room.
They would then proceed through another antechamber before entering the royal presence.
This double reflection helped to disguise the identity of visitors to the court and also meant that the king could be presented with many people at once.
Louis XIV intended to demonstrate that France could create mirrors as exquisite as those produced in Italy, thus all of the mirrors in that hall were fabricated in France. "Louis was likewise adamant on relocating the French government to Versailles."
The king wanted to show his European rivals that he could construct a city equal in size and beauty to their capitals. And he wanted to bring his government under his own control by having it reside with him at Versailles.
The building work began in 1668 and was not completed until many years later. The king died in 1715 before it was finished.
Today, the palace complex includes the Grand Trianon, a large country house built for King Louis XV; a smaller version of this house, known as the Petit Trianon, can be found near Paris. There are also two other chateaux at Versailles: Château de Saint-Germain and Palais de Luxembourg.
The real glory of Versailles is its architecture. In the town itself, you will find several luxury shops along Rue Royale and around Place d'Etoile. But if you want to see the real beauty of the place, go to the palace grounds during the summer months when they're open to the public.
Versailles, the Royal Palace The Hall of Mirrors (French: Grande Galerie, Galerie des Glaces, Galerie de Louis XIV) is a magnificent Baroque-style gallery and one of the most recognizable rooms of the royal Palace of Versailles in Paris, France. It is located just behind the King's Apartment and was originally built to display paintings that would not fit in the other galleries of the palace.
The gallery has an oval shape and extends for almost 100 meters (330 feet). It was designed by Gabriel Mangeret and started to be built in 1670, but was not completed until much later - in 1710. The main reason why it took so long to finish this project was because there were many changes requested by the king during construction, which caused delays.
The hall is 87 m (285 ft) long and 12 m (39 ft) wide with a high ceiling made of French oak painted white. There are also two smaller halls adjoining the larger one that connect it to the rest of the palace.
The walls of the gallery are covered with large mirrors that reflect everything that happens inside it. This creates a very special atmosphere that is perfect for dancing or singing competitions.
There are several myths surrounding the origin of the name "Hall of Mirrors". One version says that it was named after a legendary queen who was known for her beautiful eyes.
The Hall of Mirrors is the biggest chamber of Versailles Palace, which was built by the Sun King, Europe's most powerful king at the time. It is also the most well-known. The hall is a huge rectangular space with walls covered from top to bottom with mirrors; it can be divided into three sections: an upper balcony, a middle floor with platforms for dancing, and a lower floor with more mirrors.
The palace was not meant to be seen completely empty-handed, so Louis had all of his wars captured on film along with their awards and triumphs. These images are now in the Musée de l'Armée in Paris.
The palace was never completed because Louis died before finishing it. But his son, Louis XIII, wanted him to have something grand to show off to guests, so he finished the building project.
The Hall of Mirrors, with a total of 357 mirrors, makes a message against the Venetians. Because Louis XIV ordered that the materials for the Hall of Mirrors come from France, some Venetian craftsmen were lured to France to make them. The king was so angry about this that he had their bodies cut into pieces and put into barrels with nails through them. These are still shown at the Venice Archives.
The king wanted to be the most magnificent ruler in Europe. So he spent a lot of money to be able to show off before other countries' kings and queens. He built one of the most famous palace in Europe, which later became known as the Palace of Versailles.
Inside the hall there are four rows of mirrors. On the first row there are small mirrors, on the second row there are larger ones, on the third row there are even more large mirrors and finally on the last row there are huge mirrors that reflect everything in the room. This made it possible for the people inside the room to see who was coming while being hidden from view yourself.
There is no real reason why the mirrors were placed there. Some people say that it was done to make sure that nobody could hide weapons under their clothes. Others think that it was done because the king wanted to look like he was surrounded by loving subjects who would cheer him on his throne.