The Hall of Mirrors is a fantastic place for its beauty and for having been the site of some very important events in French history. Built in the time of King Louis XIV, it is a true royal gallery.
Travel through time and learn about the impressive history of the Hall of Mirrors, a place that, without a doubt, dazzles visitors. And there is more: it is not just an isolated gallery, but It includes an entire royal palace that is among the most recognized and important in the world.
The palace of Versailles
As we mentioned, the gallery is not alone, but is in nothing more and nothing less than the Palace of Versailles, in France. This palace was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979, under cultural criteria I, II and VI. The reason is that it was place of residence of the French monarchy between the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XVI.
This palace was embellished by generations of architects, sculptors, landscapers and decorators, resulting in a royal palace model par excellence throughout Europe. Today, its importance is still present as well as its beauty, not only in France, but throughout the world.
Every corner of the Palace of Versailles deserves to be admired, since its architecture and its majestic landscape composition They serve as a stage for decorations or ornamentations both internal and external.
The magnificent Hall of Mirrors
The Hall of Mirrors —in French, Galerie des Glaces— it is an emblematic baroque-style room made up of 357 mirrors which, for most monarchs, symbolized the greatness of France. It was built between 1678 and 1684 by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, one of the most important architects of the 17th century in Europe.
The gallery was designed to replace an open terrace built by the architect Luis Le Vau, and it connected the king’s and queen’s apartments. Its success was resounding, since with 73 meters high and 10.50 meters wide, it not only represented beauty and power, but also allowed visitors to see themselves full body, something new for that time.
It was a place of meetings and passage, where visitors and courtiers could be lucky enough to meet the king or make a request. As we have well related, it manifested the greatness and success of the nation, for which its main function was to “use” it as a political tool.
Those 357 mirrors demonstrated the ability of French manufacturers to compete with Venice for the mirror monopoly. Also, denotes high French artistic quality, work of craftsmen and artists of great renown. For example, the barrel vault is decorated with paintings by the renowned artist Charles Le Brun, which depicted the reign of Louis XIV.
Venue for major events
Some diplomatic receptions and important parties took place in the Hall of Mirrors. For example, the wedding of Marie Antoinette (1770) was held there, held at the Palace of Versailles.
Other important events have been the Proclamation of the German Empire in 1871 and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in June 1919. This treaty ended World War I.
A place that dazzled before and does so now
The purpose of creating the Hall of Mirrors was to impress visitors to Louis XIV, and he has done very well. With all that architectural and ornamental beauty, it amazed whoever passed by. He imagines that 17 windows provide the light that is reflected in those hundreds of facing mirrors.
The best part is that capacity that the Hall of Mirrors has to continue surprising. No need to be royalty, we are lucky to be able to visit the Palace of Versailles and surprise us as much as those visitors and courtiers of ancient times.
Visiting the Hall of Mirrors is a magnificent experience, but what will make the visit even more profitable is to know each part of the palace and the Gardens of Versailles. These gardens, located to the west of the palace, were designed by landscaper André Le Nôtre and cover approximately 800 hectares. Visit the Palace of Versailles and don’t miss a thing!