The city of Versailles, just 10 miles from Paris, is famous for the eloquent palace built by Louis XIV; the ultimate indulgence of wealth and luxury. Versailles was just a small farming village before the first wave of construction began in 1664. With the work of Le Vau in the 17th century it became a majestic and elaborate royal Château. The cost of construction was phenominal and much of the initial costs came out of Louis XIV's private funds and revenues earned from 'New France' (Canada). The Château de Versailles was the official royal residence for over 100 years (from 1682-1789) from Louis XIV to Louis XVI. The royal family ruled France from this seat of political power until the beginning of the French Revolution when they were forced to leave in October 1789. The palace was looted by revolters but the edifice was restored and expanded by Napolean and in 1837, under the rule of Louis Philippe, it became a historic museum. It eventually became a public establishment in 1995. Versaille is not only famous as a palace but also as a symbol of the absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime. These days, even though the palace still serves some political functions, it is one of the major tourist attractions in France. With Versailles being easily accessible from Paris by train and metro, many tourists come for a day trip or a weekend. Though many tourists opt to stay in an apartment or Bed and Breakfast in Paris, booking an apartment in Versailles is also an option. Even though the Chateau de Versailles is known as the epitome of indulgence, there is nothing quite like seeing it with your own eyes. A visit to the extensive French-style palace gardens are free, but it's worth buying a day ticket to see the wonderful interior and incredibly opultant furniture inside. Notable highlights include the 'Hall of Mirrors', restored in 2007, and the opulant royal apartments of the King and Queen. Though Versailles’ main attraction is the palace, the city is also an important cultural center, with links to some contemporary famous French artists such as the director Michel Gondry and bands Phoneix, Air and Daft Punk. Accommodation in Versailles is varied and by renting an apartment in Versailles through Wimdu, you can relax in style and enjoy the leisurely pace and the heady royal air of this important historic city.
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