The Château de Versailles is an authentic building, a cultural symbol and an architectural gem. Each room in the château has been through the ages with it and bears witness to the period in which it was occupied. One room in particular is extremely interesting for its contents. This content and all that happened in it are precisely what make it the most iconic gallery in the castle.
The Hall of Mirrors
The Hall of Mirrors is a marvel of Baroque architecture and art dating back to the 17th century. The only façade in the castle overlooking the park and its fabulous garden, it replaced a terrace that linked the flats of the king and queen. It takes its name from the 357 glittering mirrors facing the 17 windows of the room, reflecting both the interior of the room and the landscape. The gallery’s 12.5m high ceiling is proudly painted with scenes from the epic reign of Louis XIV. The imposing central painting illustrates the beginning of his history, surrounded by other works, apparently representative of the Dutch War in chronological order.
The various decorations, the exceptional furniture and the sculptures that adorn this room should also not be forgotten, despite the fact that most of them were dispersed during the Revolution.
The gallery through history
Towards the end of the 1670s, a construction project was presented to King Louis XIV, who seemed to be very enthusiastic, as work began the same year as this introduction. The gallery replaced a terrace on the west side of the castle. At both ends of the gallery are the cabinets of the Grand Appartement du Roi and those of the Queen. From that time onwards, the gallery was a singularly important passageway for the king’s visitors.
The gallery is a historical place. For example, it was between these mirrors that the German Empire was proclaimed after France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian War.
The gallery to the present day…
The Hall of Mirrors also saw the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, the meeting of General de Gaulle with President J. F. Kennedy and several other illustrated events. Over the years, the Hall of Mirrors was renovated after it was abandoned during the Revolution, first by Louis XVIII from 1814 and around 2004 by specialists in emblematic monuments. Since its construction, the Hall of Mirrors has been given an important place. From an artistic and architectural point of view, as well as from a cultural and historical point of view, this gallery remains a real minefield of knowledge and is one of the most appreciated rooms of the Château de Versailles.