Palace of Versailles
by Annie Schwenker
History of Versailles
King Louis XIII began building what would become the royal residence of France for over a century, in 1624 just outside of Paris. The men in charge of the project were the architect, Louis Le Vau, the painter and decorator, Charles Le Brun, and the landscape architect, Andre Le Notre. About 37,000 acres of land were cleared to make room for tree-lined terraces, walkways, and thousands of flowering plants. There were 1,400 fountains and 400 pieces of sculpture. The cost of this palace and its extremities eventually caused France to go bankrupt.
Marie-Antoinette was given the Trianon domain in 1774, by her husband the king, Louis XVI. The spirit of the Enlightenment is shown throughout her estate. She believed it to be an escape from the royal court and all of its duties. Only people she requested or allowed were let into the estate.