Saturday, 10 August 2013

Château de Compiègne

The Château de Compiègne was expanded for Louis XV who used it as his summer residence - one has to leave Versailles once in a while, right?
Compiègne was one of the three seats of the French government during Louis XV and Louis XVI (the other two being Versailles and Fontainebleau). Louis XIV had apparently liked the château as well since he stayed there 75 times! One of the reasons as to why especially Louis XV loved this particular royal castle was the large nearby forest in which the King could carry out his favourite hobby: hunting. So, he hired Ange-Jacques Gabriel who in 1750 came up with a plan to revive the château. Louis XV must have liked the plan for the work began in 1751 although he would never actually see it completely finished; the château was ready in 1788, just one year before the revolution.
After the revolution Napoleon Bonaparte declared that he wanted the château to be inhabitable again and work once more began. Since Napoleon was very fond of the residence as well it is rather his time's style that shines through today. As Auguste Luchet put it: "Compiègne speaks of Napoleon as Versailles does of Louis XIV".

Traditionally the château (now a museum) is divided into three different time periods: the 18th century, the First Empire and the Second Empire.

Compiègne -The 18th Century:

The King's Guards' Room
The Double Antechamber
The Queen's Games Room
The Gallery of the Hunt
Natoire's Gallery

Compiègne - the First Empire:

The Emperor's Bedchamber
The Emperor's Library
The Blue Salon
The Salon of Flowers
The Ballroom Gallery
The Bedchamber of Empress Marie-Louise

Compiègne - the Second Empire:

The Family Salon
The Music Salon

View from the Inner Courtyard

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