The Palace of Versailles is a royal chateau and it is located within the Ile-de-France region. In France this structure is known as the Chateau de Versailles. When this palace was first built Versailles was actually a country village. However, nowadays it is a suburb within the city of Paris. Versailles is located about twenty kilometers from the city of Paris to the southwest. From 1682 the court of Versailles was at the center of political powers in France. During October 1789 the royal family were forced to return to the city following the start of the French Revolution. The Palace of Versailles is a famous building as well as famous for being a symbol of monarchy for the Ancient Regime.
The Palace of Versailles is amongst the most highly visited French monuments. This palace was built by Louis the fourteenth as a way to get away from the hectic way of life within the city of Paris and it was seen as a way to retain the nobility within his control. Once Louis XIV had built this palace he set it up as his home and he put the government in place. He commissioned Louis Le Vau to extend and renovate the former hunting lodge. The swampland was developed into beautiful gardens and Le Notre carried this out. The hydraulic display of fountains within the gardens was masterminded by Mansart.
This chateau was started in 1664 and lasted virtually until Louis the fourteenth died during 1715. This palace was never actually designed to be used as a home because kings are not really homely people. The Louis XIV was actually seen more as an institution as opposed to an individual who is private. Louis the fourteenth’s coming, goings and instability were regulated and it was rigidly encased within a ceremony.
Following the passing of Louis the fourteenth the chateau was left empty for a couple of years and then Louis the fifteenth moved in during 1722. This palace remained the home for the royal family up until the French Revolution, which took place during 1789. During 1798 the furniture from the palace was sold and the collection of pictures that were in the palace were sent to the Louvre. After this the palace became ruins and Louis-Philippe was almost demolished.
During 1871 the Paris Commune took over the government and the parliament of France continued to use the building until 1879. The restoration of this building started during the time between the world wars. There are a number of small buildings that are attached to the palace and these come together to form a small town and the entire complex is a spectacular monument. The gardens that are around this complex are five hundred and seventy five meters in length and several kilometers in width. There are a number of annexes that are dotted around the grounds. The grounds of this palace are a good representation of the skills of Le Notre and he made good use of the natural resources which were available nearby.
Nowadays there are a lot of visitors that come to this castle and it is possible to look around, either using a guided tour service or without this service. It is possible to see the state apartments which belonged to the king and queen as well as the halls of mirrors, and this is where the Treaty of Versailles was signed to end the First World War.