|The Château de Versailles, or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles, France. In English it is often referred to as the Palace of Versailles. When the château was built, Versailles was a country village, but it is now a suburb of Paris with city status in its own right. From 1682, when King Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in 1789, the Court of Versailles was the centre of power in Ancien Régime France.
In 1660, Louis XIV, who was approaching majority and the assumption of full royal powers from the advisors who had governed France during his minority, was casting about for a site near Paris but away from the tumults and diseases of the crowded city. He had grown up in the disorders of the civil war between rival factions of aristocrats called the Fronde and wanted a site where he could organize and completely control a government of France by absolute personal rule. He settled on the royal hunting lodge at Versailles, and over the following decades had it expanded into the largest palace in the world. Versailles is famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy which Louis XIV espoused.
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