Louis XIV, Paris Through the Sun King’s Eyes
Glamorous young Louis XIV changed the itinerary of royal processions to publicize his power (in 1660). The route passed by the first straight street, which led to the first royal square, with the first royal equestrian statue at its heart. It swept over a unique bridge, built to unify crowds and ruler (long story). And it passed by a church whose unprecedented architecture and decor implied that obedience to the king was the way to salvation. Unique to Paris, some of these innovations became templates that have been used ever since, and are the reason for the city’s majesty.
We follow Louis’s route, discover these changes, explain their lasting importance – and suggest a reason why the city’s beauty is rarely credited to the kings.