Versailles is a chateau located not far from Paris, France. It was built in 1624 as a hunting lodge for King Louis XIII, where he and his royal court would stay when the men would go hunting.

When Louis XIV was rising to his most powerful point, he had visions of a palace and would stop at nothing to get it built. After consulting his architect, and plans were underway he began to have ideas about the garden. At this point, people thought he was a bit crazy, and that he was spending to much time and money on the new palace.

Louis’ plans were rather inconvenient for the architect. Louis wanted to keep the old hunting lodge and build around it. This made it extremely difficult to come up with something that Louis would both agree to, and that he could afford. It also had to be easy and quick to build.

 

The architect made a scale model of  what he planned to build, but when it was presented to Louis, they decided to add an extra room at the back of the palace, and it is now the most famous room in the chateau – The Hall of Mirrors.

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Model of Versailles (pictured above)

Whilst Versailles was being built, many people died or were seriously injured as work continued on through the night, in hope to complete the building sooner. Much of the scaffolding as unsecured, meaning the scaffolding would collapse or break, and workers would fall from great heights. Carrying heavy materials, loose objects, menial work, special unawareness and falling, tripping, hitting and dropping objects/people are only some of the injuries caused by working at the building site of Versailles.

On one occasion when Louis came to inspect the building progress, the mother of a man who had died whilst building his palace screeched curses at him. He was shocked, as he was almost only ever praised and complimented. The woman was taken away and thrown into prison.

Once the majority of the building was completed the Royal court was moved into the palace. The ladies at court would constantly complain of plaster powder in their hair, the unamiable hours that work commenced and finished and the smells that came from the halls.

As they were all being built, there were hardly any toilets available, so many people would do their business in the corridors. Can you imagine the smell?!

The Palace of Versailles was completed in 1682, and was made the official place of Court, and home of the royal family up until the French Revolution in October 1789.

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