Louis XIV Architecture

Louis XIV France (1643-1715)
HERE COMES LOUIS XIV! Right off the bat, when Louis XIV comes into power he already regards himself as the greatest ruler in Europe and desires to impress others with the magnificience of court life. Louis throws festivals, firework displays, puts up statues in his honor, starts making fountains and palaces all to show off to the people. In totality, the French Baroque (Louis XIV) sought to inspire and awe, not to the glory of the church but to the power of the Sun King.

Here are some things to remember:
1. symmetry, classical ordering, monumental scale, and center focus
2. types: main buildings are hotels, chateaux, and the Palais de Versailles
3. buildings are integrated with the urban and natural environment
4. materials used: stone with brick used for lesser structures, some wood and plaster
5. facades: superimposed pilasters divide walls into bays and define the overall ordering
6. windows and walls: proportion of window to wall is greater, windows extend to the floor and open as doors to porches or balconies
7. roofs: mansard, hipped, and flat usually covered in slate, roofs pitch steeply
8. the floor plan of the Palais de Versailles has these characteristics: a marble court, a chapel, a Gallery of Mirrors, the assembly hall, the royal court, wings, a royal opera, a north and south facade, statue of Louis XIV, and the minister’s court. The exterior characteristics include: classical details, balustrade at roof line, heavy cornice, walls divided into bays by pilasters, french doors, repetitive arches, and entry symmetrically on center.

Below are photos of (in order from top to bottom): the Chateau de Maisons, the Chateau Vaux le Vicomte, the Galerie des Glaces also known as the Hall of Mirrors, the Grand Trianon, and the Palais de Versailles -where the king lived!

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