The history of Versailles is inextricably linked with the figure of Louis XIV. Although the location existed for centuries before the sovereign, Louis XIV developed a genuine liking for Versailles early on, and decided to extend it beyond the chateau that had grown out of the hunting lodge of brick and stone first built by his father. The King, who could see great things for the chateau and the forests around it, took on the role of architect himself, and built a masterpiece with which he would forever be associated.
Born in Versailles like his grandfather, Louis XVI became king before the age of twenty. The celebration of his marriage to the Archduchess of Austria Marie-Antoinette in 1770 at the Royal Opera House was one of the greatest events to take place in Versailles in the late 18th century. Unlike his grandfather, Louis XVI spent most of his time in Versailles, where he embarked on several projects for the interior, while devoting himself – in his private chambers – to studying various sciences that he particularly liked. He was very fond of his wife and in 1774 he offered her the Petit Trianon, built by Louis XV for Mme de Pompadour and first lived in by Mme du Barry, and Marie-Antoinette made it her private domain. A shy but studious king, Louis XVI was interested in international politics and played an important role in the War of American Independence.
For more information on the history of Versailles visit Chateau de Versaille's website .