• LOCATION 14 | Hidden Messages from the Sun King: A Guide to the Palace of Versailles' Gardens

    le Bosquet des Bains d'Appolon

    le Bosquet des Bains d'Appolon on Versailles, Yvelines audio tour Hidden Messages from the Sun King: A Guide to the Palace of Versailles' Gardens

    Stop and take it all in when you have a clear view of the whole scene.

    Who was Apollo to the Greeks? None other than the master of song, music, poetry, light, and the very symbol of masculine beauty. There are at least a dozen representations of Apollo in these gardens, the most of any personality. Why? Because Louis XIV saw himself as a modern-day Apollo.

    He first appeared as Apollo on stage when he was 15. Young Louis played the lyre, sang and danced just like his hero. Patron of the arts with his court painter Le Brun, composer Lully, poets La Fontaine and Perrault, and playwrights Molière and Racine, Louis XIV fostered the most creative period in French royalty. Emulating his hero, Louis XIV adopted the sun as his trademark, becoming "The Sun King."

    In the dark recesses of the caves, Louis XIV would enjoy secret rendez-vous with his mistresses. Not exactly here, as this is at least the third different spot these statues were moved to. Louis XVI settled them here. The statues were originally found just North of the Palace, about where the chapel is today, forming the Grotto of Tethys, the titan god daughter of Earth and Sky.

    When you're ready, keep going in the same direction on the path, and stay to the right until the exit of Apollo's Baths.

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Hidden Messages from the Sun King: A Guide to the Palace of Versailles' Gardens