The Palace of Versailles is a former royal residence located in Versailles, about 12 miles (19 km) west of Paris, France. The

palace is owned by the French Republic and since 1995, under the direction of the French Ministry of Culture,

managed by the Palace, the Museum and the Public Establishment of the National Estate of Versailles. 15,000,000

people visit the Palace, Park or Gardens of Versailles every year, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in

the world. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of visitors paying for the chateau declined by 75

percent from eight million in 2019 to two million in 2020. The decline was particularly sharp in foreign visitors, who make

up eighty percent of paying visitors.Louis XIII built a simple hunting lodge on the site of the Palace of Versailles in 1623 and replaced

it with a smaller palace in 1631–34. Louis XIV expanded the palace in several phases from 1661 to 1715. It was the favorite residence

of both kings, and in 1682, Louis XIV moved his court and seat of government to Versailles, making the palace the de facto capital.

France. This state of affairs was continued by Kings Louis XV and Louis XVI, who mainly made internal changes to the palace,

but in 1789 the royal family and the capital of France returned to Paris. For the rest of the French Revolution, the

Palace of Versailles was largely abandoned and its contents evacuated, and the population of the surrounding city declined.