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HOME   -   PEOPLE IN HISTORY A-Z   -   LOUIS XIV

 
   


Louis XIV 1638-1715
Louis XIV 1638-1715

 

The Sun King. Absolutely.

Louis XIV was also called Louis the Great or The Sun King.

He became the image of the classic monarch with supreme powers, the personification of  absolutism.

 

Image Above

Detail from the portrait of Louis XIV by Hyacinthe Rigaud, who created this artwork in 1701.

Museo Nacional del Prado


Louis ruled France for 72 years under his slogan


L'État C'est Moi

(I Am the State)

 

Possessing a love for all things refined, he stood in stark contrast to the rustic and sturdy medieval rulers.

Louis brought Versailles to its glorious days. He survived devastating personal calamities with dignity. Louis had numerous love affairs, enjoyed gambling, entertaining, and dancing. He even established the Royal Academy of Dance.

Fame and France were Louis's passions.

 

Louis XIV, 1638 - 1715

 

Louis XIV — The Sun King

Louis chose the sun as his royal symbol. Many parallels may be found, i.e. everything revolved around Louis, the brilliance of his court, etc.


And here is a map of the territorial acquisitions during the reign of Louis XIV:


Eastern France 1643
Eastern France 1643-1715


 

The Family of Louis XIV

Louis's parents were Louis XIII and Anne of Austria.

The brother of Louis XIV was Philippe I de France, duke d'Orléans.


In 1660, Louis XIV married Marie-Thérèse of Austria who died 1683.

In 1684, he married Françoise Scarron, a poor author's widow, who died 1719.

Louis' son was Louis, Dauphin de Viennois, Grand Dauphin (son of Marie-Thérèse.) Louis had many other illegitimate children.
 

Château de Versailles
Picture R & L Akerson.
Château de Versailles. Louis XIV transformed the former hunting
lodge of Louis XIII into a breathtaking royal residence.


Here is more about Louis' family, the House of Bourbon.

 

Louis XIV — Military Campaigns

Under Louis XIV, twenty marshals served in the French army. Originally, this dignity had been reserved for only one marshal at the time.
 

1667 - 1668 War of Devolution
Louis XIV makes war in Spain and conquers a large part of the Spanish Netherlands.