• LOCATION 19 | Hidden Messages from the Sun King: A Guide to the Palace of Versailles' Gardens

    Maitresses

    Maitresses on Versailles, Yvelines audio tour Hidden Messages from the Sun King: A Guide to the Palace of Versailles' Gardens

    After you've gotten a good look at the many fascinating golden sculptures, you may walk South while I tell you more. With the Palace on your left, and Latona behind you, follow the wide path as it curves right.

    There are a couple proposed messages communicated by this fountain. The one I feel holds truest is "honor and respect my mistresses, and my children out of wedlock, or else suffer my wrath!" Louis XIV fathered at least 18 known bastards. Madame de Maintenon, was the governess to the children of his mistresses. Due to her loyalty and piety, she eventually became queen. His subjects were expected to show deference to his mistresses, known as his 'favorites,' and their fatherless progeniture. Only the queen was above them, but even she had to tolerate the philandering without comment, and the church of course looked the other way.

    Louis XIV reigned for so long, 72 years, he outlived ALL of his six legitimate children. He had to be succeeded by his great-grandson.

    Louis XV supposedly outdid great-grandad in the fooling around department. He even had his confidante Madame de Pompadour act as his pimp, procuring a steady stream of young girls for the king, including four of the Nesle sisters to share his bed, often simultaneously.

    We will be making the first left up ahead.

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