Louis XIV (1638-1715)

King of France

 

Louis XIV through the lens of photographer Vanfleteren

 

Louis XIV is the longest-reigning monarch in European history, stimulating absolute monarchy.
During his long regime, he reigned 72 years (1643 to 1715), France fights three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the Nine Years’ War and the War of the Spanish Succession, in which the Battle of Oudenaarde (1708) is a famous battle.

 

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The MOU pays much attention to the Battle of Oudenaarde, an important battle in European history. Louis XIV at all costs wanted the Spanish throne, but this did not end well at all. On July 11, 1708 the French army bites the dust, as an alliance of English, Dutch, Prussians and Hanoverians defeat them near Oudenaarde. On the fields surrounding the city 180,000 soldiers fought. In only one day 6000 people died and 700 were wounded.

The MOU exhibits weapons from that time: a sword, a gun, a dagger and even a cannon.

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Three times Oudenaarde was seized by the French, in 1658, in 1667 and in 1684. On September 9, 1658 Oudenaarde was captured by French commander Turenne. In 1659 Oudenaarde was under Spanish rule again.


In 1667-1668 the War of Devolution raged. Oudenaarde was besieged and taken in in July 1667. This was the beginning of a long period of prosperity under French rule. Thanks to Vauban Oudenaarde obtained a spectacular reinforcement belt, public utilities such as a water supply system with a fountain and decorative works on the houses.

 

the scale model of Oudenaarde by Vauban.

 

In 1678 Oudenaarde was again under Spanish rule. Everything the French had built up in Oudenaarde, was largely destroyed by themselves in the devastating bombardment of Oudenaarde during the Franco-Dutch war on March 23, 1684.

 

During the War of the Spanish Succession the Battle of Oudenaarde (1708), in which the French suffered a major defeat, is one of the most famous battles.  

 

the Battle of Oudenaarde 1708. Painting in the collection of Oudenaarde

© MOU Museum Oudenaarde en de Vlaamse Ardennen - design Digital Cordon Bleu