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
Detail from the
portrait of Louis XIV by Hyacinthe Rigaud, who
created this artwork in 1701.
Museo Nacional del
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
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
And here is a map of the territorial acquisitions during the reign
of Louis XIV:
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
Louis' son was Louis, Dauphin de Viennois, Grand Dauphin (son of Marie-Thérèse.)
Louis had many other illegitimate children.
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'
House of Bourbon.
Louis XIV — Military Campaigns
Under Louis XIV,
served in the French army. Originally, this
dignity had been reserved for only one marshal
at the time.
1667 - 1668 War of
Louis XIV makes war in Spain and conquers a large part of the Spanish
1672 - 1678 Dutch War
France invades the
almost overpowers it.
II of England is Louis' prisoner. England helps the French
in their attacks upon Holland until 1674. Heroic resistance of the
Dutch under the
Prince of Orange.
In 1674, Louis conquers Franche-Comte.
In 1681, Louis invades and occupies Alsace.
In 1685, Louis commences a merciless persecution of his Protestant
1689 - 1697 War
of the Grand Alliance
The Austrian Habsburgs, the English, and the Dutch allied against
France in defense of Holland, thus Louis supported the
1701 - 1714 War
of Spanish Succession
The Spanish ruler Charles II died without an heir. England, the
Dutch Republic, and France claimed to have the rightful
successor. Louis believed his grandson Philip V to be the rightful
heir. Philip V was crowned King of Spain.
Louis XIV — More Events
November 7, 1659 -
Treaty of the Pyrenees
Louis XIV — The Succession
Because Louis XIV outlived his son and grandson, he was succeeded by
Here is a
Governments of France.
Regarding Louis' finances, see
Taxation in Pre-Revolutionary France
list of the men who acted as
Controller General under Louis XIV.