Versailles is a city in the Yvelines département in Île-de-France region, renowned worldwide for its château, the Château de Versailles and the gardens of Versailles, designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. According to the 2008 census, the population of the city is 88,641 inhabitants, down from a peak of 94,145 in 1975.
A new town, founded by the will of King Louis XIV, it was the de facto capital of the Kingdom of France for over a century, from 1682 to 1789, before becoming the cradle of the French Revolution. After having lost its status of royal city, it became the préfecture (regional capital) of Seine-et-Oise département in 1790, then of Yvelines in 1968, and a Roman Catholic diocese. Versailles is historically known for numerous treaties such as the Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended the American Revolutionary War and the Treaty of Versailles, after World War I.
Located in the western suburbs of the French capital, 17.1 km (10.6 mi) from the centre of Paris, Versailles is in the 21st century a wealthy suburb of Paris with a service-based economy and a major touristic destination as well. In addition, the Congress of France – the name given to the body created when both houses of the French Parliament, the National Assembly and the Senate, meet – gathers in the Château de Versailles to vote on revisions to the Constitution.