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French Baroque architecture flourished in the years 1610 to 1774. The ornate stylings, gardens and buildings of the Palais du Luxemborg, Château de Chantilly and the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte typify this architectural mode. The French Baroque style emphasized palaces, mansions and other extravagant buildings over sparse structures. This classical look epitomized the grandeur of Louis XIV and Louis XV.
Familiarize yourself with the domes on French churches and other buildings. Study the dome on the church of Les Invalides in the 7th arrondissement. The Hospital de la Pitie Salpetriere contains a less ornate dome over its church, flanked by hospital buildings on either side.
Understand that the mansard roof, a staple of French architecture, came to prominence during the Baroque period. These roofs have two vertical slopes on each side of the building. The upper slope looks flat, and together they give the appearance of a lowered roof height.
Learn the meaning of a corps de logis. Used as the central building block of a palace or mansion, this area encompasses the entranceway and grand state rooms of a mansion. Additional wings sprawl out to either side of this principal building. Study the Palais de Versailles to find out more about this Baroque architectural feature.
Look at the function of a salon in a French residence. A state room used for banquets and other functions, it first appeared in the Vaux-le-Vicomte, designed for Louis XIV's finance minister, in the 1650s.
View the chateaus and palaces built during the French Baroque period. These include Versailles, designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, the Palais Royale, built by Jacques Lemercier, and the Palais du Luxembourg, created by architect Salomon de Brosse.