Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Les Jardins de Versailles
* opulence - extreme luxury
* ostentatious - pretentious - overly luxurious
* exhorbitant - costing too much
* the struggle over the mirror technology possessed by the glassmakers of Venice.
* the Chateau Vaux le Vicomte, built before Versailles by the Finance Minister of France; it was more beautiful than anything owned by the king, which was a serious error.
* the gardens and fountains of Versailles
* the Mansard roof, designed by the French architect Jules Mansart.
* Alexandre Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers and the Count of Monte Christo.
* Charles Dickens' famous novel of life in France and England during the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities.
* Le Roi Soleil, "the sun king," nickname of Louisi XIV.
* the development of ballet in the court of Versailles - because Louis XIV loved dance and spectacle.
What was good about Louis XIV was his patronage of the arts. What was bad was that he bankrupted France with unnecessary wars. And opulence.