We took the Metro and then the RER railroad to the country, a few minutes out of
The Loueees - Louis XIII, Louis XIV, Louis XV, Louis XVI - were very into majesty and magnifique-ness. The outside of breath-taking
There was a story lehavdil from the gemora that quotes a debate of the rabbis on the question of the advances brought by
The Loueees spent kazillions of francs making their homes and their hometown
The people had no food, and they lived in filth, but the king improved things for his own glory, and that helped the people eventually too (even if not in their lifetime). The
And his love of the good life, encouraged the development of the culture that everyone loves so much about
They say about the Arch de Triomphe that it is a tribute to the meglomania of Napoleon. So is the Louvre (Napoleon's palace) and so especially is
A TRIP TO
We took the train ten minutes out of
Nothing could have prepared me for the first sight of
Think of a movie fairy tale. Imagine the palace. It cannot even compare with the real
Have you ever been in a furniture store that sold Italian provincial furniture? As gaudy as that was, this is a billion times more, and this is the real thing.
The inside of
When the French mobs stormed the palace to murder all the aristocracy, they also took everything they possibly could from the castle. And being short-sighted crazed rioters, they burned and destroyed whatever they could. Many of the walls in
The short sighted people could have tried the king and queen, and claimed
I guess crazed mobs are always the same – even if hundreds of years and thousands of miles separate them.
What’s Left of Louis?
So, what’s left of Louis? Portraits of Louis and his family were collected and brought to
Louis XIV’s bedroom and Marie Antoinette’s bedroom are on view. Did you know that anyone, including peasants, could follow the king around, just like they could follow Tiger Wood on the golf course? When Louis XIV said, “All for the glory of the Nation,” he meant it. And he let anyone come in and watch his doings.
So, folks could come into his bedroom, watch him get up and watch him go to sleep at night. Unfortunately the same went for Marie Antoinette, and she had an entire audience present around her bed every time she gave birth. Yuch.
There are portraits and statues of Louis XIV in almost every room, in almost every pose, in almost every costume, at almost every age. Louis at eight, Louis at ten, Louis as a Roman, Louis as a warrior, Louis as a statesman, Louis as the king, and Louis crowned by victory. Then, of course, portraits of the other Loueees and their families.
At first I thought that there could be no greater egomaniac than Louis XIV. Then I rethought the situation. Firstly, there was no CNN or Fox News. These paintings had to tell the story of his reign. Next, there were no Polaroids or cameras to capture their lives on film, so the court painter had to do the job. Next, perhaps Louis was like me, and he just loved pictures. I make my children pose in every which way and they’re used to it already.
Last note: The castles of