The Palace of Versailles, or simply Versailles, is a royal chateau in Versailles in the Ile-de-France region of France. In French it is the Chateau de Versailles. When the chateau was built, Versailles was a country village; today, however, it is a suburb of Paris, some 20 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 Regime. The earliest mention of the name of Versailles is in a document dated 1038, relating to the village of Versailles. In 1575, the seigneury of Versailles was bought by Albert de Gondi, a naturalized Florentine, who invited Louis XIII on several hunting trips in the forests surrounding Versailles.
Contributions by Wetman, Olivier, and CalJW.