Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical
Architecture Gallery Two

(click on any image to enlarge)

The original Château de Versailles (Palace of Versailles) began as a small manor house that Louis XIII used as a Hunting Lodge.  The oldest remaining section dates from 1624.  Between 1631 and 1634, he had Philibert le Roy reconstruct the chateau, creating the brick and stone central structure called the Marble Court. The chateau was dramatically enlarged under Louis XIV, starting in 1669 with a huge wrap-around addition (garden facade) by Louis Le Vau and interiors by Charles Lebrun. André Le Nôtre began designing the gardens in 1667.  This was the same team that created the Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte for Nicolas Fouquet, the Finance Minister, earlier.  Jules Hardouin-Mansart took over as project architect in 1678 and added the Hall of Mirrors, the chapel (1698-1710), the North and South wings, the stables, the Orangerie, and the Grand Trianon.  He also altered LeVau's original garden facade.  Ange Jacques Gabriel added the Royal Opera in the North wing in 1768, and the small wing immediately south of the Royal chapel. He also designed the Neoclassical Petit Trianon, built between 1762 and 1764.

Partial front elevation from near the end of the Avenue de Paris. Much imitated, enormous French Baroque chateau. Front elevation of the oldest section of the chateau.  This area was restricted to the Royal Family, princes, and peers. Furthest back is the Marble Court, with the kings bedroom at the center of the second level. View of the side of one of the twin Royal stable buildings, looking down the Avenue de Paris.
Place d'Armes, Château
de Versailles, ca. 1669
Versailles, France
Royal Court, Château
de Versailles, beg. 1623
Versailles, France
Lesser Stables, Château
de Versailles, ca. 1678
Versailles, France
Partial front elevation. The two closest (and outermost) wings define the Minister's Court, with the temple like structures marking the start of the Royal Court.  The taller building toward the right is the royal chapel. View of the Palace's Garden elevation from the stairway leading to the conservatory courtyard. Baroque fountain sculpture by Tuby. Located at the end of the Tapis Vert and beginning of the Grand Canal.
Place d'Armes, Château
de Versailles, ca. 1669
Versailles, France
Courtyard of Orangerie
Château de Versailles
1669-85. Versailles, Fr.
Le Nôtre, Apollo Basin
Gardens of Versailles
1667-90. Versailles, Fr.
Partial front elevation of the chateau.  This area was lined by wings for ministers and government officials. View of the Palace's Garden elevation from the base of the stairway leading to the conservatory courtyard. View down the major East-West axis, with the Tapis Vert (Green Carpet) in the foreground and the Grand Canal in the background, leading off into infinity.
Gate to Minister's Court
Château de Versailles
ca. 1669. Versailles, Fr.
Courtyard of Orangerie
Château de Versailles
1669-85. Versailles, Fr.
Le Nôtre's Tapis Vert
Gardens of Versailles,
1667-90. Versailles, Fr.

"The chateau was left to itself to flame and burn.  In the roaring and raging of the conflagration, a red-hot wind, driving straight from the infernal regions, seemed to be blowing the edifice away.  With the rising and falling of the blaze, the stone faces showed as if they were in torment.  When great masses of stone and timber fell, the face with the two dints in the nose became obscured: anon struggled out of the smoke again, as if it were the face of the cruel Marquis, burning at the stake and contending with the fire."

- Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, 1849. Part II, Chapter XXIII.


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