The Palace of Versailles was the principal royal residence of France from 1682, under Louis XIV, until the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789, under Louis XVI. It is located in the department of Yvelines, in the region of Île-de-France, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) southwest of the city of Paris.
The complex of buildings on the site have gone through many alterations throughout the years, including small hunting lodges and a larger château and moat before 1661, when the construction of the first major addition, an ornate palace, began for Louis XIV. By 1682, when the palace had expanded to a sufficient size, the king and the French government relocated to Versailles.
While much of the palace furniture constructed in the 1680s was made out of solid silver, in 1689 a significant amount of it was melted down to pay for the costs of the war. For the majority of subsequent rulers, little was done to change the overall appearance of the castle except for decorating some of the interior rooms. However, Louis XV did build an opera house for the wedding of the Dauphin and Marie Antoinette in 1770 at the north end of the north wing.
Additionally, the palace has been important in the history of the nation. The peace treaty which concluded the American Revolutionary War was signed in Versailles, the proclamation that unified the German states occurred in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles, and World War I was ended by the Treaty of Versailles, as well as other notable historical moments.
Now, the palace is a notable historical monument and UNESCO World Heritage site due to the ornate Hall of Mirrors, which is regarded as the jewel of the Royal Opera, and the apartments in the royal section, which are distinct for being intimate with a more relaxed aesthetic. The park is the home of the royal residence known as the Grand Trianon, where Marie Antoinette was born, and the Petit Trianon, where she lived while pregnant with Louis-Auguste. These small rustic hamlets were built for Marie Antoinette, where she enjoyed isolation in the country, and they include two such hamlets within the grounds: the Hameau (hamlet) and the Gardens of Versailles, with the exception of the beautiful Gardens of Versailles, which are located
All the furnishings from the Palace were stripped and removed following the French Revolution, but in recent years some of these pieces have been returned, and a number of the rooms have been restored.