Tag Archives: Louis XIV of France

today’s birthday: Louis XIV of France (1638)


Louis XIV of France (1638)

The “Sun King,” Louis XIV, ruled France for 72 years, longer than any other major European monarch. A strong believer in dictatorship by divine right, he viewed himself as God‘s representative on Earth and became the archetype of the absolute monarch, reigning over a highly centralized state. He waged several wars, built one of Europe’s most elaborate palaces at Versailles, and was a great patron of the arts. What is the meaning of “L’état, c’est moi,” a remark long attributed to Louis? More… Discuss

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The Hope Diamond


The Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond is a large, blue diamond, currently housed in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. Its history can be traced to the “Tavernier Blue,” a crudely cut diamond of about 112 carats originally mined in India, which King Louis XIV of France later purchased and cut into “the Blue Diamond of the Crown,” or “the French Blue.” Legend has it that the Hope Diamond is cursed and causes misfortune to befall its possessors. How did it acquire this reputation? More… Discuss

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: Pope Innocent XI (1611)


Pope Innocent XI (1611)

In 1676, Benedetto Odescalchi was elected pope despite the strong opposition of Louis XIV of France, with whom he had a long, bitter quarrel over Gallicanism—a French Roman Catholic tradition of resistance to papal authority. He took the name Innocent XI. As Pope, Innocent lived very parsimoniously and sought to curb nepotism among the cardinals. He closed all of the theaters in Rome—deemed centers of vice and immorality—and brought a temporary halt to the flourishing tradition of what? More… Discuss

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This Day in the Yesteryear: Louis XIV of France Moves His Court to Versailles (1682)


This Day in the Yesteryear

 

Louis XIV of France Moves His Court to Versailles (1682)

During his reign, King Louis XIV moved his court and government offices to Versailles. The palace is one of the largest and most lavish ever built. At a time when mirrors were some of the priciest luxury items to acquire, Louis installed an entire hall of them. The grounds feature fountains, reservoirs, sculptures, temples, grottoes, and even two smaller palaces. Louis’s motive for the move is thought to have been a desire to more closely monitor the nobility. Why did he feel this was necessary? More… Discuss

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Today’s Birthday: ANNE OF AUSTRIA, QUEEN OF FRANCE (1601)


Anne of Austria, Queen of France (1601)

Neglected by her husband, French King Louis XIII, Anne of Austria stirred up controversy with flirtatious indiscretions. After her seemingly treasonous correspondence with Spain, her husband’s principal minister, Cardinal Richelieu, attempted to limit her influence. When Louis died, Anne was declared sole regent of their son, Louis XIV—contrary to her husband’s wishes—and strove to ensure his absolute power. What did she do that was hailed at the time as “a marvel when it was least expected”?More… Discuss