Louis XIV Ah, Le Roi Soleil! A fantastically powerful and charismatic man, Louis XIV, also known as "The Sun King", managed to rule for 72 years, the longest reign of any European monarch. Under your firm and absolute guidance, France grew and prospered as never before, and during your rule, you constructed a system where the King's power was absolute and unchallenged, by emasculating all of the powerful nobles who might have been able to muster a real challenge to your absolute authority. This proved disastrous when lesser men came into your office after your death, because they had neither the foresight nor the will to use absolute power effectively, but during the 72 glorious years of your reign, you reigned supreme.Not content merely with ruling your OWN country, you placed a member of the House of France on the Spanish throne, beginning the House of Bourbon in that country. To this day, the Spanish Monarch is descended from Louis XIV.The arts and writing flourished under your enlightened rule, you built Versailles (yes, THE Versailles) and turned it into the cultural and power center of all of France, and also founded the Hôtel des Invalides, the first organization of its kind, that provided treatment and a home for officers and soldiers in the French army rendered infirm by age or injury.After outliving all of your children, you eventually succumbed to gangrene at age 77, at which point your great-grandson succeeded to the throne.
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