CRF Blog


by Bill Hayes

Valérie Bajou-Charpentreau’s illustrated book Versailles tells the history of the French palace.

From the New York Times Book Review:

The Palace of Versailles served as France’s seat of government for just a century: Louis XIV moved his court there in 1682, there was a short break during Louis XV’s childhood and, in 1789, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were driven out by the swelling revolution. Yet ever since, in its various guises of museum, ceremonial court and tourist attraction, the palace — the French call it a chateau, although it is not a fortified castle — has remained a symbol of French grandeur. Today’s elected governments see no contradiction in spending heavily to conserve this monument to absolute power.

And let’s face it, it is impressive. [more]