Louis XIV, the Sun King and the Palace of Versailles



90 minutes


After this seminar, you'll know all there is to know about : Louis XIV the Sun King, Baroque Music and Opera, Molière, the Invention of Ballet, the Palace of  Versailles

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Who was Louis XIV and why was he called the Sun King?  How did he use music, dance and the arts to solidify his power and create one of Europe's most brilliant royal courts?  Join us on a passionate exploration of King Louis XIV and the Palace of Versailles and discover daily life at one of Europe's most spectacular royal palaces.

For centuries, Versailles has been known as one of the world's most spectacular royal palaces – but not only for the beauty of its gardens or the size of its royal monuments. During its heyday in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Versailles court was an epicentre for some of Europe's most talented performing artists and a stage for some of its most magnificent festivities.

Court Life and Etiquette

Known across Europe for their exacting etiquette rules and elaborate daily routine, Louis XIV and his successors used music, dance and theatre to strengthen their power and spread their fame throughout the world. During the first part of the seminar, you will hear how Louis XIV, the Sun King, installed a complex system of etiquette-based rules to keep his noble subjects under his subjugation – in so doing, making daily life at court a performance in and of itself.

Music, Dance and the Arts

Next, hear all about the brilliant musicians, dancers, composers and actors that sang the glory of their royal patrons and immortalized their fame for centuries to come : Molière and Lully, Rameau and Voltaire, Rameau and Gluck... Discover the works of art they created and performed at Versailles, leaving their indelible mark on the reigns of their respective rulers.

Outrageous Festivities

And lastly, discover the magnificent festivities celebrated at the Palace of Versailles, from the time of Louis XIV to that of his successors Louis XV and XVI. From the 7-day celebration staged by Louis XIV in 1664 to the marriage of Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI more than a century later, hear how these festivities celebrated the glory of France and carried the renown of its king to the four corners of the world.