The XVIIth century Hall of Mirrors in Versailles Palace near Paris may rightfully be the most famous room in the world. It is therefore very crowded and should be visited off season and off week-ends. Happy fews attend concerts in Hall of Mirrors.
Overlooking Versailles Gardens, the 17th century Hall of Mirrors is the largest and most famous room of Versailles Palace, the palace commissionned by Sun King, the most powerful monarch of his time in Europe. It owes its name to the seventeen mirror arches facing seventeen windows overlooking the Park. Each arch contains twenty-one mirrors for a total of 357 mirrors. The Hall of Mirrors' dimensions are 73m × 10.5m × 12.3m . It has beautifully painted walls and ceiling. Locate Hall of Mirrors on Versailles map.
Designed by architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart (picture) and decorated by painter Charles le Brun (picture), the Hall of Mirrors was built between 1678 and 1684. It was the grandiose setting of many 17th and 18th century royal ceremonies and festivities (picture). It was also the venue of the 1871 proclamation of the German Empire (picture) by Otto van Bismarck, after the French defeat in the 1870 war, and of the 1919 signature of the Versailles treaty (picture) which ended World War One. Versailles history
In the 17th century, mirrors were among the most expensive items to possess. The Venetian Republic held the monopoly on their manufacture. Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the minister of Sun King, enticed several workers from Venice to make mirrors at the Manufacture Royale de Glaces de miroirs, nowadays the Saint Gobain multinational company.
Construction of the Hall of Mirrors continued until 1684, at which time it was pressed into use for court and state functions. The ceiling decoration is dedicated to the political policies and military victories of Louis XIV. The central panel of the ceiling, the king governs alone, alludes to the establishment of the personal reign of Louis XIV in 1661. The rest of the ceiling represents military victories of Louis XIV starting with the Treaty of the Pyrenees (1659) to the Treaty of Nijmegen (1678–1679). Le Brun has depicted themes such as good governance and military prowess, rendered with Louis XIV himself as the key figure.
Visit the Hall of Mirrors and the Palace of Versailles in the morning, on weekdays and off season to avoid the crowd as much as possible. Lucky visitors can attend marvelous evening concerts in the Palace of Versailles. Information.
A guided coach tour is good way to visit Versailles.
The Hall of Mirrors is the most famous sight in Versailles. Many other great sights turn Versailles Palace into one of the most beautiful and interesting palaces in the world.
More top Paris monuments.