Louis became King of France at the age of
five when his father died. In the beginning, he was too young to rule, so his mother helped him. Then at age 17, Louis ruled the country alone. He was king for 72 years. France became a powerful country with Louis as king. But Louis lived a life of luxury, which made people angry.
Louis built a huge palace at Versailles,
near Paris. It took 40 years to finish it. At one time, 36,000 people worked on
building the palace. The palace cost so
much money that Louis did not let people
talk about it. The gardens of the palace had 1,400 fountains. The fountains used a lot of water so they worked for only three hours at a time.
The fountains used water, but Louis did
not! He hated to wash. He took only three
baths in his life. He washed only one part
of his body—the tip of the nose.
Everyone in the palace had to do what
the king did, so people washed only their noses!
Louis XIV had other unusual rules. He
liked to keep the windows open at the
palace. He wanted dozens of people
around him when he got dressed. Also,
only the king and queen could sit on chairs
with arms. Everybody else had to sit on
chairs with no arms.
Louis had problems in sleeping. People
say that he had 413 beds. He went from
one bed to another until he fell asleep.
But he had a good appetite. A normal
dinner for Louis was four bowls of soup,
two whole chickens, ham, lamb, a salad,
cakes, fruit, and hard-boiled eggs. He also drank a lot of champagne because his
doctor told him to. He lived to be 77
years old. When he died, doctors said his
stomach was two times the size of a
Louis XIV was not always popular, but
he was an important king in the history of
France. He was so important that he was
called “the Sun King.”
rule powerful luxury palace fountains appetite tip
Write the correct words in the blanks.
1. Louis XIV built a very large house called Versailles. It was a beautiful ____________.
2. A king’s job is to ____________ his country.
3. When Louis XIV was king, his country was very important. It was a
4. Louis liked to have very expensive things. These things were not necessary.
5. Louis always ate big dinners. He had a good_____________.
6. In a park, water often comes out of_____________.
7. The end of your nose is the _____________of it.
Circle the letter of the correct answer.
1. Louis XIV was a famous king because _______________.
a. he ate a lot b. he washed only his nose c. he built the palace of Versailles.
2. Louis XIV loved_____________.
a. beautiful beds b. a life of luxury c. Baths
3. Louis XIV ruled_____________.
a. for a long time b. in England c. 36,000 people
Reread the passage and answer the questions.
1. How long was Louis XIV king?
2. How old was Louis XIV when he ruled the country alone?
3. What was the name of Louis’s palace?
4. How many fountains were there in the gardens of the palace?
5. What part of his body did Louis wash?
6. In the palace, who sat on chairs with arms?
Match the words in Column A and Column B to make sentences.
___ 1. Louis liked
___ 2. Louis hated
___ 3. Louis had
___ 4. Louis didn’t
___ 5. Louis became king
___ 6. Louis ruled the country alone
a. sleep well.
b. a good appetite.
c. to keep the windows open.
d. when he was 17 years old.
e. when he was five years old.
f. to wash.