Facts About Louis XIV, The Sun King

Facts About Louis XIV, The Sun King

Jun 29
Facts About Louis XIV, The Sun King

Americans are often fascinated by European monarchs but tend to focus on a few sensational few, such as King Henry the VIII and his many wives. But there have been thousands of kings and queens, none of which should be overlooked.

One of the most accomplished monarchs in history is Louis XIV, also known as “The Sun King”.

The Most Interesting Facts About Louis XIV King of France

So who was The Sun King and what did he accomplish during his reign?

Louis Was The Longest Reigning Monarch In History

Louis came to the throne on May 14th, 1643 and was king for 72 years and 110 days, the longest recorded reign in history. He outlived his children, his grandchildren, and was ultimately succeeded by a great-grandson.

Sadly, Louis, like so many others, died from a now treatable condition – gangrene. Who knows how long his reign would have been if he had the benefits of modern medicine.

Louis Made Versailles What It Is Today

When visitors go to France, one of the most popular stops is the extravagant Palace of Versailles. But when Louis was a child, the now palace was simply a hunting lodge that his father used to visit when he was a boy.

Nearly forty years into his reign Louis moved his official court to Versailles. He ordered the palace to be built into the 700 room monstrosity that it is today.

A State Is Named After Louis

Although there have been many King Louis, the state of Louisiana is actually named after the Sun King. The explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle named the territory in his honor in 1682. The land was not purchased by the United States until 1803.

Louis Did Not Like Protestants

The king’s grandfather, Henry IV, had issued an edict that allowed freedom of religion. However, Louis revoked this edict and passed one of his own, ordering the destruction of Protestant churches, preventing Protestants from assembling in any fashion, and deeming all marriages in the Protestant church invalid. His goal was to have the more than 1 million Protestants living in France to convert to the Catholic faith.

While he also forbid Protestants from leaving France, the majority of those in France made their way out of the country, hurting the economy because of the loss of so many skilled workers.

Louis Publically Enjoyed His Mistresses

While Louis clearly enjoyed the favors of many lovers during his time, he had three mistresses which he clearly made official members of his court. He bestowed great favors upon them, including a duchy, a massive chateau, and even married one of them in secret. He had 13 illegitimate children with his mistresses.

The marriage was kept secret because of the extreme distance in status between the two.

Louis Owned The Hope Diamond

Louis loved beautiful things and one of his favorite items was a giant blue diamond, known by him as the French Blue. The diamond was stolen during the French Revolution and was given a new cut.

Louis Was A Ballet Dancer

Louis loved the ballet and was a dancer in more than 40 ballets! He founded both the Académie Royale de Danse and the Académie d’Opéra.

Louis Would Have Loved The Wizard Of Oz

Why would he loved The Wizard Of Oz? Because of the ruby slippers! Louis adored red shoes and always included them in his wardrobe.

Although he was no longer well loved by the time that he died, Louis certainly made his mark on history.

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