Louis XIV expanded the château de Versailles in the 1680s, creating a grand palace complex that became the effective administrative capital of France. Louis XIV’s royal state promoted Bourbon dynastic interests and managed the French military from Versailles during the Nine Years’ War and the War of Spanish Succession.
The château de Versailles served as the principal residence and administrative for Louis XV and Louis XVI during the eighteenth century. The palace was pillaged by crowds during the French Revolution and was later used as a site for diplomatic conferences and public ceremonies by Napoleon and subsequent French governments.
The château remains one of the most important historical sites in France and has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. NPR reports that “With nearly 7 million visitors a year, the Chateau of Versailles in France is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. But one day a week, it’s closed. So what happens at Versailles on its day off? A spa day, of sorts — involving cleaning and conservation work.”
NPR presents a fascinating story on the regular restoration work at the château de Versailles.