Friday, 17 June 2011

Louis XIII and the Hunting Lodge in Versailles

Well maybe not so very private since his little hunting lodge in Versailles was never really enjoyed by the king alone, there were his friends to think about. But for a king this was certainly private, since the design itself excluded the unwanted company of woman, especially that of his wife Anne of Austria and her ladies whom he claimed "spoil everything for me". Of course there was also his mother Marie de Medici who proved to be a constant fountain of arguments and so the need for the young king to get away from all the family drama grew with the result of the hunting lodge built in the early 1600s.

Well the young king certainly took the necessary steps in making his new hunting lodge into his very own private heaven. The little house was built around a land famed for its countess swamps, ponds and the many wolves, deer and other animals that provided the perfect place for the king to pursue his favourite hobby; hunting. More notably while the house itself contained around twenty rooms only two of these were bedrooms one belonging to the King and the other was designed as a dormitory to house all of his closest men friends who would accompany him on his hunting trips.

The house itself was said to be been utterly charming with its rose red brick and white stone work in fact it was nicknamed the 'little house of cards' as it was said to resemble the back of a playing card. It turned even lovelier when the king’s sister Christine Marie, Duchess of Savoy furnished the four reception rooms with furniture of the latest fashion. The King grew very much attached to his little hunting lodge, he often held tours of the house and later sought to create a park and a pretty garden which enhanced the beauty of the already picturesque house. Even in his last years having perhaps grown weary of his life as a monarch he is thought to have voiced his wish to place his son in his place while he would retire to his beloved Versailles, a wish that sadly for Louis XIII never came true since he died not long after in the spring of 1641.

1 comment:

  1. Cool post! It's hard to find information on just the hunting lodge. Everyone's always so wrapped up in Versaille itself that the hunting lodge is just a footnote about how things were built around it.