Chateau de Versailles, Versailles, France – Great Castles of the World
The Chateau de Versailles is one of the most popular tourist stops in France but it has not been that way for too many years. The massive structure fell into disrepair after the French Revolution and most of the furnishings were sold off. Only since World War II has there been an ongoing major effort to restore the complex.
The identity Château de Versailles is closely linked to the city surrounding it; Versailles. Not surprisingly, the city is what gave the Château de Versailles its name in the first place. When the château was built, Versailles was a mere country village.
Today, it is a small city and one of France’s most popular tourist destinations. The palace has housed the royal court several times, and is therefore not only famous as a building, but also as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy
The Sun King and his Palace
The history of Château de Versailles starts with the “Sun King”, Louis XIV. He had grown up during the disorder of the Fronde; a short civil war between rival factions of aristocrats. For this reason, the newly appointed king wanted a center where he could organize and completely control a government of France by absolute personal rule. The place he chose for his new palace was the royal hunting lodge, located at the small village of Versailles.
Louis XIV quickly became more or less obsessed with his new palace, and spent the majority of his time and effort on it. What started as a hunting lodge was soon to become one of the largest palaces in the world.
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