Spanish and French Monarchial Beliefs - the Escorial and Versailles

1726 Words Sep 26th, 1999 7 Pages
The palace of Versailles was built by Louis XIV of France (1643-1715), and the Escorial was built by Philip II of Spain (1556-1598). By examining the aerial and frontal facades of these two palaces, it may be seen that there were many similarities and differences between the two kings' perception and practice of monarchy. Each king set his own goals for his life, and concluded as to how a monarch ought to behave. Both Louis XIV and Philip II had religious duties to pay attention to, organized the distribution of power in their respective kingdoms, communicated with other countries and entities through war and diplomacy, raised militaries, and made plans for the expansion of their own beliefs, thoughts and practices. Aside from these …show more content…
Louis XIV preferred to delegate power to new nobles, or affluent bourgeois who had recently received their noble status from the king. The lords who were not hereditary nobles had not yet had enough time to gain any actual power that could be used in rebellion against the king. Philip II, however, did not diversify the existing hierarchy of power, but embraced it. Upon the building of the Escorial, many new Hidalgos were not created just to satisfy the needs of a larger bureaucracy. In addition, the Roman Catholic church even went inside the walls of the Escorial. This shows Philip II's embrace of the existing power of the Holy See. Conversely, at the court of Versailles, Louis XIV did not make the church a significant part of his chateau, therefore removing most of the internal persuasion from the clergy. (Even if there was a large religious influence at Versailles, by the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges (1438), the ‘Galician' church was politically independent from the Holy See.)
<br>Louis XIV and Philip II had some similar and some different methods for handling foreign affairs. Louis XIV deployed the French army against many different peoples, being always at war or preparing for war in order to keep peace at home, and war abroad. Philip II also deployed his armies against various people, however, he did so in order to expand the boundaries of Catholicism. Concerning diplomatic relations, Louis XIV was much more involved than
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