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La Victoire de Samothrace, Unknown, 190 BC

The King's Apartments


17th century

Life at Versailles was highly ritualised and the king's life was lived out in public.

This had 2 purposes : to impress his subjects and to inspire trust - as they always knew what he was up to.

Louis XIV's day would start at 8:30am.

The first person to see him would be the valet sleeping at the foot of his bed.

Then a group of close courtiers and family would enter to see him wash, shave, and put his wig on.

Other courtiers would progressively be invited in.

By the end of the ceremony more than 100 people were present.

The king would then go to mass, walking through the famous Hall of Mirrors, where hundreds of people would be waiting for him, hoping to catch his attention.

He would return to his apartments to attend meetings with his ministers. He would often go out to hunt or walk.

He would dine in public at 10pm.

3 evenings a week he would host parties for courtiers in the State apartments.

Fun fact : the palace was so big, and the kitchens so far, that food was often served cold by the time it arrived!