I also took the opportunity to visit the appalling Palace of Versailles but there the interest was not in the rather gross architecture and decoration but in the layout from a Feng Shui point of view and the effect it had on the occupants.
The palace was built by King Louis XIV – the Sun King – as the best way to concentrate his power over his nobles and the population in general. He converted what was originally a fairly humble hunting lodge into the largest palace in Europe. It took from 1664 to 1710. Louis was king for 72 years but died soon after the palace was finished.
In Chinese Feng Shui it is important that a building is a regular rectangle or square shape in order to enjoy the best energy and therefore fortune. Louis’ grand design added huge wings to the original building. When you apply the ‘Lo Shu’ square to the floor plan it shows that four ‘missing corners’ were produced. These are in the northwest, the southwest, the east and the centre.
The northwest governs the fortune of the patriarch, the head and the likelihood of people helping you. So at Versailles this luck is missing as the northwest corner is missing. The southwest governs the luck of the matriarch and relationships in general – this corner is also missing. The east sector governs the fortune of the eldest son and health and is also missing. The centre governs support for the family as a whole and is missing.
Let me remind you of a little French history of the occupants of this house……
Louis XIV had the longest life of any of the Kings of Europe but he died five years after Versailles was completed. His eldest son (the Dauphin) died before he could become King. The Dauphin’s eldest son also died prematurely – as did his eldest son. So Louis XIVs great-grandson became King Louis XV at the age of five.
Louis XV’s marriage to Princess Marie of Poland led to the five year war of Polish Succession. He was unfaithful to his wife and had many mistresses, the most famous of whom was Madame Pompadour. He also brought France into the eight year war of Austrian Succession and the Seven Year War in which most of the French colonies were lost to Britain. He survived an assassination attempt in 1757.
Louis XV’s death at the age of 64 saw the French monarchy at its lowest point. He died hated by his people. His eldest son died nine years before him and so the Kingship passed to his conventional and unimaginative grandson who became Louis XVI in 1774.
Louis XVI was liked generally at first but soon became a symbol of the tyranny of the French nobility. He and his wife, Marie Antoinette became more and more divorced from the reality of life in France. The Palace grounds have a fake village with a grocery and a bakery so that Marie Antoinette could pretend to have some kind of normal life. She is the one who, when told that the people had no bread to eat, famously suggested, ‘Let them eat cake’. They were among the first to be beheaded during the French Revolution.
The Emperor Napoleon did not fare much better when he occupied the house.
The east sector is missing – the luck of the eldest son is missing and none of them became King. The northwest sector is missing – the luck of the patriarch and things to do with the head is missing. All the Kings had big problems and Louis XVI literally lost his head. The southwest sector is missing – the luck of the matriarch and relationships is missing. The Queens had problems too. Marie of Poland was neglected in favour of mistresses and Marie Antoinette was beheaded. The central sector is missing – support for the whole family is missing. Say no more.
The Feng Shui moral of this story is – make sure your house, apartment or business premises have a regular square or rectangular floor plan.