Versailles History - Louis XIV

Learn all about the history of the Versailles Palace and the French monarchy.

Louis XIV of France and its history at Versailles

Given that Versailles is associated with Louis XIV and vice versa, Louis XIV appears to be inseparable. If the first was created far earlier than the second, young Louis XIV had a true enthusiasm for Versailles and made the decision to enlarge it much beyond the boundaries established by his father. The king had a clear vision for the location, wanting to train as an architect and create a work of art that would long be linked with him. In order to flee a smallpox epidemic raging at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, his father Louis XIII brought the future Louis XIV and his brother to Versailles in October 1641. Louis XIV was only three years old at the time, so it’s unlikely that he recalls his first trip. He took “the entertainment of the hunt” there, according to the French newspaper of April 18, in the company of his governor, before receiving dinner from the head of the castle’s guards, René de Longueuil, president of the Maisons. From that date, the young sovereign returned there regularly every year together with his brother, his mother Anne of Austria, and Cardinal Mazarin.

louis xiv
In 1661, King Louis XIV decided to enlarge this palace and its grounds for his entertainment and to escape the hustle and bustle of Paris and relax. Finally, he moved the French government and all the royal family and employees to Versailles. During the tenure of King Louis XIV, there was a constant stream of construction of buildings. The forecourt in 1662 and the Hall of Mirrors are on the hit list. Other than this Le Vau Envelope, the South Wing, and the North Wing, Secretaries of State Pavilions, Grand Commun, and the Royal Chapel were also built during his reign.

More information about Louis XIV


Versailles passport access

Skip the long queues and fast-forward your entry to the world’s biggest and most iconic art museum. With Versailles pa… see more


Versailles restaurants & shops

The boutique Cour de Marbre, which can be found at the bottom of the Queen’s Staircase after touring the Grand Apartments has… see more


Trianon Palaces

From the royal court, roam freely on the various circuits of the château, then traverse the small gardens and woods, and head to… see more