Hall of Mirrors The Palace of Versailles was constructed using four building campaigns that started in 1664 and was completed in 1710, all of which was during the reign of King Louis XIV in Versailles, France. The Hall of Mirrors is the central gallery of the palace and could be known as the most famous room in the world. Construction on the Hall of Mirrors took place in the third building campaign in 1678 and was facilitated by renowned architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart. It had many functions and throughout the Louis reigns continued to serve as meeting places for the family and court functions.
In the “early ages” as I would call them, mirrors were considered to be one of the most expensive items to be in ones possession. During the construction of the third building campaign and the Hall of Mirrors, the Venetian Republic had a monopoly on the manufacturing of mirrors. This possessed a problem for Jean-Baptiste Colbert, who served as the Minister of Finances for France under the rule of King Lois XIV from 1665 to 1683. Colbert believed in mercantilism, which meant that all of the items used to decorate the Palace of Versailles must be made in France.
Colbert was able to convince a few number of workers from Venice to make the mirrors at a manufacturing place in France. Legend has it that in order to keep their “mirror monopoly” the Venetian Republic sent agents to France to poison the workers who had agreed came to France to make the mirrors. The biggest feature that most sightseers recognize are the seventeen arches, which are mirror-clad that reflect the seventeen arcaded windows. These windows overlook the palace gardens.
Each arch has a total of 21 mirrors giving a grand total of 357 in the hall, which in turn shows just how prosperous France was at the time since mirrors were to them as diamonds are to us today. This placement of the mirrors across from the windows creates an illusion of greater width, which shows just how meticulous and thought out the planning was. The designers were so careful during the planning and decoration of the Hall of Mirrors that even the doorknobs were specially designed to reflect the magnificence of Versailles, and not only do the walls display a sense of awe, but the painted ceilings as well.
The Hall of Mirrors wasn’t always referred to as the Hall of Mirrors. In the 17th century it was known as the Grand Gallery. It was used on a daily basis by visitors and courtiers and even used for splendid ceremonies on extremely important occasions, such as royal weddings and their receptions. King Louis XIV himself even used it daily, as he would walk between his apartment and the chapel. It was a meeting place for highly important people, even the Treaty of Versailles was signed in the Hall of Mirrors are World War I ended on June 28, 1919.
As you can see if the Hall of Mirrors could share its own stories there would be many of stories to tell. In 2005 the hall was restored by a company whose sole focus is of the culture of France, and the Palace of Versailles being a major factor in the history and culture of France. The project took around three years to be completed and cost around 12 million euros, totaling more than 16 million in US dollars.
The Palace of Versailles is one of many remarkable landmarks on planet Earth today and with the proper care many generations to come will be able to enjoy its beauty in real life and not just a textbook. Reference Page “Explore the EstateThe Palace. ” The Hall of Mirrors. N. p. , n. d. Web. 21 Oct. 2012. <http://en. chateauversailles. fr/discover-estate/the-palace/the-palace/the-hall-of-mirrors>. “Hall of Mirrors (Palace of Versailles). ” N. p. , n. d. Web. 19 Oct. 2012. <http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Hall_of_Mirrors_%28Palace_of_Versailles%29>.