Palace of Versailles Hall of Mirrors Facts
Palace of Versailles Hall of Mirrors is the focal point of many tours of Versailles. Hall of Mirrors is deeply intertwined into the Palace of Versailles history due to many significant historical events having taken place at this majestic room.
Versailles Chateau started out as a simple hunting lodge that was visited only several times throughout the year and flourished into one of the most recognized Palaces after Louis XIV proclaimed Versailles the center of French Monarchy in 1682.
In order to understand the significance and cost of the building campaign that was necessary to create this masterpiece, we need to present a brief overview of glass making history at that time. Back in the 17th century mirrors were considered so expensive and rare that only royals could obtain little pieces of them, let alone furnish a massive room. In the older times thoroughly polished brass or metal surfaces used to serve the role modern mirrors play today.
The process of mirror making was kept under strict secret and monopolized by Venetian Republic in the 17th century. In order to minimize the costs and enhance the process of mirror making to furnish the famous Palace of Versailles Hall of Mirrors, Jean Baptiste Colbert, French Minister of Finance at that time, employed several Venetian workers to start manufacturing this rare product in France. Legend has it that the Venetian Republic soon sent secret agents whose mission was to poison the workers to save the secret of mirror-making technology.
17 grand arched windows facing Palace of Versailles gardens are reflected in the 17 arches inlayed with 357 pieces of mirrors creating the effect of mesmerizing beauty. We can only guess how much it cost to manufacture this number of mirrors back in the 17th century. The mirror-clad arches are separated by marble pilasters completed with gilded sculptures that replaced ornate silver furniture over time. Unfortunately, many fine and original pieces of Palace of Versailles Hall of Mirrors interior had to be sold to compensate for massive war expenses.
Palace of Versailles Hall of Mirrors was the place where the famous Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919 among Germany and Allied Powers deciding the fate of the post WWI Europe. The supplemental Treaty of Trianon settlement was signed at the adjacent Trianon Palace in1920 between Austria-Hungary and Allied powers due to the fact that they fought on the German side.
When you travel France, include Palace of Versailles Hall of Mirrors in your excursion itinerary and admire its unprecedented beauty that does not cease to amaze us up to this day.