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Louis XIV also known as the Sun King was the absolute monarch of France from 1643 to 1715 He was the third monarch of the Bourbon Family who ruled for 72 years the longest reign of any European Monarch Louis guided France through a great era that signified Frances continental European dominance even though he inherited a kingdom that was internally divided militarily exhausted and nearly bankrupt The Sun King or le Roi Soleil achieved many of his goals which made France the greatest power in the Western world Although Louis XIVs nation prospered many debts were left behind for his heirs The Sun King was born at Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1638 to King Louis XIII and Anne of Austria who had not had children in their twenty-two year marriage Christened under the name Louis Dieudonn literally gift of god he received the throne in 1643 just after his fathers death Louis XIV was just five years old so his mother and her principal minister Jules Cardinal Mazarin guided the nation until Mazarins demise in 1661 From hence fourth Louis declared that he would rule France without a chief minister something no French king had done in living memory Louis XIV stripped the Estates-General of its power but created the Haut Conseil or high council which was eventually lead by Jean-Baptiste Colbert the prior chief minister of finance The grandeur of the king was the theme of sermons poems and dramatic art The exquisite and lavish Palace of Versailles Le Chteau de Versailles was built under Louis XIVs supervision between 1661 and 1689 It was filled with images of the Sun Kings glory Over 30000 men worked on building the magnificent palace a project that drained the royal treasury for decades The construction of the palace required over 100 million dollars Not only did the luxurious palace need built but also rivers needed diverted fresh water had to be piped and thousands of orange trees
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