Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution
TimelineGlobal Revolution
Royal LifeAbout the Film
Famous Faces

Hall of Mirrors

To view the Versailles map and video, you need the free Macromedia Flash Player, version 6 or higher. Get it now.
Map of Versailles
The Hall of Mirrors was completed in 1686, and features breathtaking garden views through seventeen ornate windows.   Mirrors hang on the walls opposite the windows, strategically placed to reflect the natural light.

A series of sparkling chandeliers adorn the ceiling.   The ceiling is decorated with paintings celebrating the first years of the reign of Louis XIV.  The dawn of the Sun King is thus remembered in this room that represents the setting of that sun.

The room’s 578 mirrors, which were of exceptional size at the time, were produced at Saint Gobain, the Royal Glassworks established by Louis XIV in the seventeenth century. Like Lyons silks and Gobelin tapestries, the mirrors made in this Paris factory represented the royal effort to establish monopolies on the production of luxury goods. 

The main purpose was to keep French wealth within France and to attract wealth from abroad, but the more lasting significance was to establish France, and Paris in particular, as the worldwide capital of taste and fashion, a reputation it continues to hold today.  The Hall of Mirrors thus reflected the economic and cultural power of France, even as it reflected  those who held it.

The Hall of Mirrors also represents the society of the royal court, in which seeing and being seen were crucial.  In the Hall of Mirrors, every movement, every nod, every glance was reflected hundreds of times.  The dazzle was amazing, but the stakes were high: one stumble, one awkward step, would be magnified for all to see.

The Hall, once called The Grand Galerie, is located on the first floor of the building, and measures 239.5 feet by 34.4 feet, with a soaring forty-foot ceiling. It is located between the salon de la Guerre (Hall of War) at its northern end, and by the salon de la Paix (Hall of Peace) at its southern end, and is the room in which the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919, formally marking the end of the First World War.

Royal Life

EntranceQueen's ChamberKing's ChamberPetit TrianonThe Petit HameauGrand CanalGrand ParkGardensOpera HallHall of MirrorsChapel RoyalThrone RoomKing's Tennis Courts
Explore Versailles Queen's Chamber

Treaty of Versailles
Learn about the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.

King Louis XVI
Learn more about King Louis XVI.

Fact or Fiction Quiz