The King's castles
Louis XIV’s most enduring legacy is perhaps the Château de Versailles. Built on a waterlogged marsh, its opulence and the elegant order and symmetry of both the palace and André Le Nôtre’s gardens reflected the order which the Sun King restored to a fractious kingdom. The court became a country within a country, with its own rigid codes of behaviour, politics and intrigues.
Below are links to the King’s castles – those he built, and those he inherited.
- Château de Versailles
- History of the palace
- Discover the estate
- The French version of the Château’s website also offers a wealth of resources
- Château de Vincennes
- Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye (in French, no English translation available)
- Château de Fontainebleau
- Palais du Louvre and Tuileries gardens
Here is an overview of 17th-century French decorative arts.
The blog This is Versailles provides an excellent insight into life at the court.
Versailles on paper: Princeton University Library exhibition (2015).
An insider’s guide to life as a courtier at Versailles (in French – download the app here).