Around the World: The Palace of Versailles

When the château was built, Versailles was a country village; today, however, it is a suburb of Paris, some twenty kilometres southwest of the French capital. The court of Versailles was the centre of political power in France from 1682, when Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in October 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution. Versailles is therefore famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime. One of the largest, it is also considered one of the most beautiful palaces in the world.