Palace of VersaillesThe Palace of Versailles (commonly called Versailles) is a royal chateau, located near the city of Versailles, France. The palace was initially constructed as a hunting lodge, in 1624. In 1660, Louis XIV decided to convert into a palace; this was completed by 1688. The architect was André Le Nôtre.
Louis XIV, in building the palace, was intent on outdoing Vaux-le-Vicomte. Versailles became the home of the French nobility and the location of the royal court. Louis XIV, himself, lived here -- there were government offices here; as well as the homes of thousands of individuals. By insisting that nobles spend time at Versailles, Louis kept them from countering his efforts to centralize the French government.
While the Palace was grand and luxurious, it was also impossibly expensive to maintain. Historians estimate that maintaining the Palace, including the care and feeding of its staff and the Royal Family, consumed as much as 25% of the entire national income of the country of France.