This is arguably one of the most beautiful rooms in the world. A 220 foot long gallery.
La Grand Galerie, as it was called in the 17th century or as we know it today…The Hall of Mirrors. The name was earned by the presence of the 357 mirrors that decorate the seventeen arches situated across from the windows. At the time of Versailles construction mirrors were considered luxury objects and France had succeeded in stealing the monopoly of their production from Venice.
But what rather steals the show for me are the chandeliers…of course. The hall contains 17 large chandeliers and 26 smaller ones made of solid silver and in total the chandeliers held 1,000 candles.
King Louis XIV (the sun king) had designed the Galerie to be a tribute to the economic, political, and artistic success of the French. The chandeliers were commissioned at a time when chandeliers were the symbol of opulence and wealth, made from silver and decorated with a newer and much more expensive type of crystal.
In 2007 the French government started a 3 year renovation of the Hall of Mirrors that included everything from the chandeliers to the mirrors to the many artistic compositions and pilasters which decorate the Hall.
Here are the chandeliers taken down for extensive cleaning as well as restoration. The paper provides protection for the old pieces while under refurbishment.
They are truly works of art, it’s not hard to imagine a time during Louis XIV’s reign, with no electricity, and the light from a thousand candles bouncing off the mirrors and giving the room a beautiful glow.