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Welcome to Versailles: The Dream of a French King Posted by on Mar 16, 2012 in Culture, Vocabulary

Filmed in the spectacular staterooms, bedrooms and gardens of Versailles itself, this beautifully photographed drama-documentary brings the reign of one of Europe’s greatest and most flamboyant monarchs triumphantly to life, with the help of interviews with the world’s leading experts on his reign. Samuel Theis delights as the Sun King who wants to create a dwelling that will reflect his God given right to rule France. A grandiose yet sensitive portrait of Louis XIV, visionary monarch, and his masterpiece, Versailles, Europe’s most splendid palace.

The BBC’s “Versailles: The Dream of a King”
Première partie (First Part)

Parts 234

Here is a selective list of memorable vocabulary to be retained from this documentary:

  • Le Roi Soleil: The Sun King
  • Marécage: Swamp
  • “Le temps vous est compté“: Your time is running out
  • Maîtresse: Mistress
  • “A century later, the French were furious with Louis XVI because he didn’t have mistresses!”
  • Des cours de danse: Dancing lessons
  • Château: Castle
  • Palais: Palace
  • Paysage: Landscape
  • Jardinier: Gardener
  • Nous n’en voulons pas d’autres“: “We want no other”
  • Couvent: Convent
  • L’Enveloppe de Versailles: The “Envelop” of Versailles
  • La Sainte Croix: The Holy Cross
  • Nous apprecions grandement votre art“: “We highly appreciate your art”
  • Fourre-tout: Carry-all
  • Cul-de-sac: Dead-end
  • Perruque: Wig
  • La mode: Fashion
  • Déshabillé: Negligee (credited to Madame de Montespan)
  • La levée du Roi: The royal formality of getting up of bed
  • La couchée du Roi: The royal formality of getting into bed
  • La Galerie des glaces: The Hall of Mirrors
  • Le Grand Canal: The Great Canal
  • Rédemption: Salvation
  • La chasse: Hunting
  • On dit que…“: “It is said that…”
  • Chirurgien: Surgeon
  • Guerre de Succession d’Espagne: The War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714)
  • Une des merveilles du monde: One of the wonders of the world

The cast of historical personalities to remember:

  • Louis le Vau: Known as the greatest architect of his age
  • Marie-Thérèse d’Autriche: La reine (The Queen) known in English as “Maria-Theresa of Spain”, with whom the King had a politically vital marriage
  • Louise de la Vallière: Louis XIV’s first official mistress, his “young man’s crush”
  • Madame de Montespan: For long the King’s favorite mistress
  • Anne of Austria: The King’s mother
  • André Le Nôtre: The King’s landscape architect and his main gardener
  • Jean-Baptiste Lully: The “Godfather” of French Opera
  • Jean-Baptiste Colbert: One of the greatest finance ministers of all times
  • Jules Hardouin Mansart: Le Vau’s replacement architect
  • Charles Le Brun: Declared by the King as “the greatest French artist of all time”
  • La Machine de Marly: The impressive machine that supplied the water to Versailles
  • Madame de Maintenon: The second wife of the King


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