Palace of Versailles: Hall of Mirrors (La Galerie des Glaces)

Jules Hardouin-Mansart and Charles le Brun
begun 1678
240 feet long (73 metres long, 10.5 metres wide, and 12.3 metres high)

Hardouin-Mansart changed Le Vau's center block facade which had had an open gallery. He enclosed this gallery and lined the wall opposite the seventeen windows overlooking the garden with seventeen glass mirrors the same shape and size as the arched windows opposite them.

Mirrors opposite windows

"The arches are set on marble pilasters whose gilded bronze capitals are decorated with the symbols of France-the fleur-de-lys and the Gallic cockerel-according to the new 'French order' of architecture invented by Le Brun" (official Versailles site).

Mirrors opposite windows

While sometimes referred as Venetian glass mirrors, these large mirrors were made in a Paris factory founded to compete with Venetian glass factories. Both the mirrors and glass were exorbitantly expensive in the 17th century.


The barrel-vaulted ceiling with paintings glorifying the reign of Louis XIV

"On the signing of the Treaty of Nijmegen, which represented the high point of his reign, Louis XIV ordered Le Brun to depict his government's accomplishments on the ceiling of the hall. Le Brun designed thirty compositions, framed by stucco-work, showing the monarch in various guises: Roman emperor, great administrator of the kingdom, and victor over foreign powers" ( official Versailles site).
At one end of this long halls is the Salon of War; at the other is the Salon of Peace.

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© 2008 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.