Louis XIV of France


May 22, 2022

Louis XIV (French Louis XIV), called «The Sun King», (born 5 September 1638 in the French city of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, died 1 September 1715 in Versailles) was king of France from 14 May 1643 to 1 September, 1715

Life and work

Louis was the eldest son of King Louis XIII and Anna of Austria. As long as the king was underage, the real power lay with Cardinal Mazarin, who acted with the widow's consent. When the cardinal died in 1661, Louis XIV himself took power and introduced one of Europe's most accomplished dictators. Thus the nobility lost much of their political power, while the king ruled with the support of several skilled advisers. There was, however, no doubt as to who was in power: the king must, at least according to an anecdote from Voltaire without any other source evidence, have said "L'état c'est moi" ("The state, it is me"). In 1682 Louis XIV moved the court from Paris to Versailles, where he built a huge palace. The castle formed the framework for an expensive court, which was to emphasize the monarchy's strong position. The king himself proved petty in his need for power. In 1661, the French ambassador in London informed the Spanish ambassador that if he drove up to the castle gates first, the horses' harnesses would be cut. The Spanish ambassador responded by reinforcing the harness with chains. The case developed into a scuffle and bloodshed, and King Louis responded by sending the Spanish ambassador to Paris to Madrid with the message that if the French ambassador did not take precedence at all court ceremonies, it would have extremely serious consequences (ie war). Spain was then not strong enough to retaliate against France, so a delegate was sent to Louis to agree with his demands and make a public apology before the entire French court. Louis XIV's first year on the throne was marked by a boom. for France, where the country's economy improved and the military was strengthened. Under the king's leadership, France won several wars in the years 1672–1681, especially the Franco-Dutch War, and conquered territories in Flanders. He later suffered major defeats, both in the Nine Years' War and the Spanish Succession War in the years 1701–14, in wars with Spain and Austria. At his death in 1715, France was in economic and social crisis. He ruled for 72 years, longer than any other French or great European monarch. Ludvig married Maria Theresa of Spain on June 9, 1660, as a result of a provision in the Pyrenees Treaty of 1659 with Spain. The queen bore him several children, but has often been overshadowed by his many mistresses, such as Louise de la Vallière and Madame de Montespan. After the queen's death, he married Françoise d'Aubigné, marquise de Maintenon in a morganatic marriage. The king survived both his eldest son and grandson, and was succeeded by his great-grandson Louis XV.


Louis XIV's parents Louis XIII and Anne of Austria had been married for 23 years when Louis was born. Before Ludwig's birth, Anne had experienced four stillbirths between 1619 and 1631. Therefore, Louis XIV was seen as a gift, and his birth as a miracle from God. He was referred to as Louis-Dieudonné ("Louis the God-given") and bore the French hereditary title dauphin. Ludvig and his mother had a loving relationship that far exceeded what was common at this time. The French people and eyewitnesses claimed that the queen spent all her time with her son. Both were very interested in food and theater, and this probably helped to strengthen the bonds between mother and son. Ludvig's diary reflects the close relationship between the two: “Nature is the cause of the first bonds that connected me to my mother. But the close connection that was created later, due to shared characteristics and interests, is much more difficult to eat than those created by blood alone. ”Ludvig had poor health growing up. He was only five years old when he was about to drown in one of the bass