The Palace of Versailles, 20 kilometres southwest of the centre of Paris, is renowned for its splendid architecture, great trappings of wealth and magnificent gardens. It was the principal royal residence of France from 1682 under Louis XIV until the start of the French Revolution in 1789 under Louis XVI. French philosopher Voltaire (1694-1778) was not overly impressed, however, with it. What was one view he expressed about Versailles?

Answer: ‘The Palace of Versailles is a great caravanserai – a large structure with many travelers, their animals and goods – filled with human discomfort and misery.’

Source: A History of Modern France by Alfred Cobban

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