The scene of the beginnings of the French Revolution, Versailles never again became a royal residence (the Tuileries in Paris replaced it in this function); under Louis Philippe it became a national monument and museum. The palace was the scene of the proclamation of the German Empire (1871) and of the Third French Republic. Several important treaties were signed at Versailles, most notably the 1919 treaty ending World War I and establishing the League of Nations. Today Versailles is one of the greatest tourist centers in France. The palace serves as a residence for visiting foreign leaders. It was the site of a bombing by separatists in 1978, when one wing was damaged. The city has some industry, such as distilling and market gardening. It is a garrison town, with a military hospital and military schools.
See T. Spawforth, Versailles: A Biography of a Palace (2008).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: French Political Geography