A Travellerspoint blog

Miami Beach, Florida

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Miami Beach is a city located in Miami-Dade County, Florida. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 87,933. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 89,104.

The City of Miami Beach's department of Tourism and Cultural Development's (TCD) mission is to enrich the economic and cultural fabric of Miami Beach through the support of tourism, production, and entertainment by fostering events and cultural arts programming. We encourage you to contact the department of Tourism and Cultural Development for all inquires concerning arts, events and production in Miami Beach.

Miami Beach has a rich history as a trend setting arts center, from the world famous nightclubs of the 50's, to the rich cultural life of today's modern South Beach. The City of Miami Beach has an identity that is intrinsically linked to the arts, and today our entertainment, production and arts communities are stronger than ever. Miami Beach is truly a major international entertainment and cultural destination.

In 1979 Miami Beach's Art Deco Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Art Deco District is the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world and is comprised of hundreds of hotels, apartments and other structures erected between 1923 and 1943. Mediterranean, Streamline Moderne and Art Deco are all represented in the District. The Historic District is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the East, Lenox Court on the West, 6th Street on the South and Dade Boulevard along the Collins Canal to the North. The movement to preserve the Art Deco District's architectural heritage was lead by former interior designer Barbara Capitman, who now has a street in the District named in her honor.

South Beach (zip code 33139) is the wealthiest zip code in USA.

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North Miami Beach, Florida

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North Miami Beach is a city located in Miami-Dade County, Florida. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 40,786. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 39,921.

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Hollywood, Florida

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Hollywood is a city located in Broward County, Florida. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 139,357. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 144,535.

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Key West, Florida

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Key West is a city and an island of the same name at the westernmost tip of the Florida Keys in Monroe County, Florida, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 25,478. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 24,768 [1]. This is an interesting comparison to the 1920 census that put the population at approximately 20,000. It is the county seat of Monroe County.6 Key West is known as the Southernmost City and also as the Conch Republic. It is also the southern terminus of U.S. 1. Key West is about 150 miles (240 km) southwest of Miami, Florida, and 90 miles (145 km) north of Havana, Cuba.

Key West is a seaport destination for many passenger cruise ships. The Key West International Airport provides airline service. Hotels and guesthouses are available for lodging. Many restaurants offer a choice of indoor or outdoor dining.

Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) was founded in the city in 1926. The central business district is comprised primarily of Duval, Whitehead, and Simonton Streets.

Key West has a large gay and lesbian population and is a popular international gay tourist destination. The Key West Business Guild is the nation's first and oldest continuous gay and lesbian chamber of commerce. Key West is known for its tolerance and acceptance and has adopted the diversity motto "One Human Family" to reflect a desire to treat all people with respect and dignity. Key West is home to many eccentric residents and visitors who have traveled to the end of the road (U.S. Highway 1) to find individual freedom.

The U.S. Navy has a large presence and occupies significant property in Key West. The Naval Air Station (NAS Key West) located on Boca Chica Key is an air combat training facility. President Harry S. Truman often stayed in Key West for rest and relaxation at the Truman Little White House during his presidency.

There was formerly a railway, but in 1935 its operation was discontinued. See also the history section.

In Pre-Columbian times Key West was inhabited by the Calusa people. The first European to visit was Juan Ponce de León in 1521. As Florida became a Spanish colony, a fishing and salvage village with a small garrison was established here.

The name "Key West" is derived from a "false friend" anglicization of the Spanish language name of the island, Cayo Hueso, meaning "Bone Island".

In 1763 when Great Britain took control of Florida, the community of Spaniards and Native Americans were moved to Havana.

Florida returned to Spanish control 20 years later, but there was no official resettlement of the island. Informally the island was used by fishermen from Cuba and from the British Bahamas, who were later joined by others from the United States after the latter nation's independence. While claimed by Spain, no nation exercised de facto control over the community there for some time.

In 1815 the Spanish governor in Havana deeded the island of Key West to Juan Pablo Salas of Saint Augustine, Florida. After Florida was transferred to the United States, Salas sold the island to U.S. businessman John Simonton for $2,000 in 1821. Simonton divided the island into plots and sold some of them. There was already a town on a part of the island, with the inhabitants recognizing the authority of no nation. Simonton lobbied the U.S. Government to establish a naval base on the island, both to take advantage of the island's strategic location and to bring law and order to the town. In 1823 Commodore David Porter of the United States Navy West Indies Anti-Pirate Squadron took charge of Key West, which he ruled (but, according to some, exceeding his authority) as military dictator under martial law.

Major industries in Key West in the early 19th century included fishing, salt production, and most famously salvage. In 1860 wrecking made Key West the largest and richest city in Florida and the wealthiest town per capita in the U.S. A number of the inhabitants worked salvaging shipwrecks from nearby Florida reefs, and the town was noted for the unusually high concentration of fine furniture and chandeliers which the locals used in their own homes after salvaging them from wrecks.

During the American Civil War, while Florida joined the Confederate States of America, Key West remained in U.S. hands thanks to the Naval base. Fort Zachary Taylor, constructed from 1845 to 1866, was an important Key West outpost during the Civil War. Fort Jefferson, located about 68 miles (109 km) from Key West on Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas, served after the Civil War as the prison for Dr. Samuel A. Mudd convicted of conspiracy for setting the broken leg of John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln.

In the late 19th century salt and salvage declined as industries, but Key West gained a thriving cigar making industry.

Many Cubans moved to Key West during Cuba's unsuccessful war for independence in the 1860s and 1870s.

Key West was the last of the series of Keys connected to the Florida mainland by a series of railroad bridges completed in 1912, as the Overseas Railway extension of Henry M. Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway. The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 destroyed many of the railroad bridges, and killed hundreds of residents, including around 400 World War I veterans who were living in camps and working on federal road and mosquito-control projects. The United States Federal Government then rebuilt the rail lines as an automobile highway, completed in 1938, which became an extension of United States Highway 1. The portion of US 1 through the Keys is called the Overseas Highway. Because Key West can be accessed by land, the southern point of the island is marked as the southernmost point of land on the United States mainland.

Ernest Hemingway lived in Key West for many years, and graces the front of Sloppy Joe's bar t-shirts.

In 1982 Key West, and the rest of the Florida Keys, briefly declared its "independence" as the Conch Republic in a protest over a United States Border Patrol blockade. This blockade was setup on U.S.1 where the Northern end of the Overseas Highway meets the mainland at Florida City. This blockade was in response to the Mariel Boatlift. Flags, T-shirts and other merchandise representing the Conch Republic are still popular souvenirs for visitors to Key West.

Notable Key West natives
David Robinson – born in Key West while his father was stationed there with the Navy.
George Mira – Native of Key West went on to star as a two-time All-American at the University of Miami in the early 1960s. He played Pro Football for San Francisco and the Miami Dolphins. His nickname was "The Matador".
Boog Powell – Played for Key West High in the 1950s, went on to star for the Baltimore Orioles from 1961 to 1974 (his final three years were with the Indians and Dodgers). He had 339 career home runs.

Attractions, events, recreation, and culture
Rent a bicycle and explore the history and architecture of Old Town Key West. Walking tours including a tour of the unusual Key West Cemetery are available. The Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square is a daily spectacle for visitors and residents. Boat excursions and tours provide a great way to view Key West from the water. The Duval Street bar and restaurant district include many different entertainment options all within walking distance of each other. The Tennessee Williams Theatre is a performing arts center, a civic center, and a community center.

The Key West Botanical Forest and Garden is an excellent, frost-free arboretum and botanical garden containing a number of "champion tree" specimens.

Nancy Forrester's Secret Garden is a one acre (4,000 m²) garden resembling a lush, predominantly green, rainforest. It is an exhibit of wild nature’s artistry in a woodland garden.

The Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory features a 5,000 square foot (460 m²) glass-domed tropical butterfly habitat.

The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum showcases gold, silver, and treasure recovered from shipwrecks around the world.

Mingle with the locals, shop, and dine at the Key West Historic Seaport at the Key West Bight.

The Key West Lighthouse and Keeper's Quarters Museum preserves the history of the Key West Lighthouse built in 1847.

Popular annual events include:

Conch Republic Independence Celebration – April 23
Red Ribbon Bed Race – April
Survivors Party – May
Queen Mother Pageant – May
PrideFest – June
Cuban-American Heritage Festival – June
Hemingway Days Festival – July
WomenFest – September
Fantasy Fest – October
Goombay Celebration – October
Parrot Heads in Paradise Convention – November
Boat and Holiday Parade – December

Posted by airwolf09 10:54 Archived in USA Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Stone Mountain, Georgia

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Stone Mountain is a city located in DeKalb County, Georgia. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 7,145. It is the home of wrestler Jake Roberts.

In 1822 the area that now makes up the City of Stone Mountain was made a part of the newly formed Dekalb County. A post office was created in 1834 on the old Augusta Road, and Andrew Johnson built a hotel along the road in 1836. At around the same time, Aaron Cloud built an observation tower at the summit of the mountain. Visitors to the mountain would travel to the area by rail and road, and then walk up the 1.1 mile mountaintop trail to the top, where Cloud also had a restaurant and club.

By 1839 a general store was added and a village was established under the name New Gibraltar. The name was officially changed to Stone Mountain by the Georgia legislature in 1847. During the Civil War, Stone Mountain village was destroyed by men under the command of General John McPherson on July 19, 1864.

The Ku Klux Klan was revived in Stone Mountain in 1915, and Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech consequently includes the line "let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia".

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Jonesboro, Georgia

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Jonesboro is a city located in Clayton County, Georgia. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 3,829. The city is the county seat of Clayton County.

The city's name was originally spelled Jonesborough, and during the American Civil War the final skirmish in the Atlanta Campaign was fought here south of Atlanta, cutting off the city and forcing the mayor of Atlanta to surrender at Marietta in early September of 1864. The final fall of Atlanta in the Battle of Jonesborough ended up being a decisive point in the nation's history, propelling Abraham Lincoln to re-election two months later, and continuing the war until the Confederacy finally surrenedered the following year.

Posted by airwolf09 12:35 Archived in USA Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Daytona Beach, Florida

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Daytona Beach is a city located in Volusia County, Florida, USA. As of 2004, the population estimates recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 64,422 [1]. It comprises a mainland and a peninsula separated by the Intracoastal Waterway, locally called the Halifax River. The peninsula comprises the world-famous beach along the Atlantic Ocean. In 1927, during the early days of racing on the beach, one of the city's founding father's created the slogan, "The World's Most Famous Beach." Currently, over eight million tourists flock to Daytona Beach each year to enjoy the beach and the city's events.

Daytona Beach's wide beach and smooth sands have been open to drivers for many years and were also used for the high-speed testing and racing of cars and motorcycles. This made the beach a mecca for racing enthusiasts and the city is now home to the Daytona International Speedway (a conventional racetrack founded by William France, which replaced the famous beach course in 1959). Close to the Speedway and adjacent to Daytona Beach International Airport is Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a world-class university for the training of pilots and aviation professionals.

The city is a popular vacation destination, especially for college students on spring break, a "special event" period. The city also is home to Daytona Beach Community College, Bethune-Cookman College and Keiser College. Today, motor vehicle driving and parking is still allowed on certain sections of the beach, which is fully lined with hotels, motels, condominiums and houses. There is a wide variety of accommodations in all price ranges. Hotel and motel rooms are typically plentiful except during special events, which also include winter Speed Weeks, summer NASCAR races, Bike Week, Biketoberfest and Black College Reunion (BCR). During the motorcycle events (Bike Week and Biketoberfest), several hundred thousand bikers from all over the world visit the greater Daytona Beach area.

Daytona Beach, named for its founder, Matthias Day, was incorporated in 1876. The towns of Daytona (originally a separate town) and Seabreeze were merged to form Daytona Beach in 1926.

Daytona Beach was the birthplace of musical theater writer Robert Wright.

On March 8, 1936, the first stock car race was held on the beach. The world-famous Daytona International Speedway complex is now the site of the International Motor Sports Hall of Fame and Daytona USA, a fan attraction.

The town is home to the Daytona Cubs minor league baseball team of the Florida State League.

The Daytona Beach area was the setting for the 2003 movie Monster, portraying the life and crimes of serial killer and Daytona Beach resident Aileen Wuornos. Its star, Charlize Theron, won the best actress Oscar) for her portrayal. Although set in Daytona Beach, it was actually shot in Orlando, Florida and Kissimmee, Florida.

Posted by airwolf09 12:45 Archived in USA Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Torremolinos, Malaga

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Torremolinos is a tourism-oriented city on the Costa del Sol of the Mediterranean, immediately to the west of the city of Málaga, in the province of Málaga in the autonomous region of Andalusia in southern Spain. A poor fishing village before the growth in tourism beginning in the late 1950s, Torremolinos was the first of the Costa del Sol resorts to develop. It is very popular with British tourists and has a large British expatriate population.

Posted by airwolf09 13:17 Archived in Spain Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Malaga, Malaga

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Málaga is a port city in Andalucia, southern Spain, on the Costa del Sol coast of the Mediterranean.

Málaga is the capital of the Spanish province of the same name. Population of the city of Málaga proper was 547,000 as of 2003 estimates. Population of the urban area was 814,000 as of 2005 estimates. Population of the metropolitan area (urban area plus satellite towns) was 1,019,000 as of 2003 estimates, ranking as the fifth largest metropolitan area in Spain. Malaga is surrounded by mountains, and two rivers, the Guadalmedina and the Guadalhorce, flow near the city into the Mediterranean.

The inner city of Málaga is just behind the harbour. The quarters of El Perchel, La Trinidad and Lagunillas surround this centre. The city has much revenue from the agricultural sector and from tourism. The painter Pablo Picasso, the 19th-century Spanish politician Antonio Canovas del Castillo, and the actor Antonio Banderas were born in Málaga.

History
The Phoenicians founded the city Malaka here, in about 1000 BCE. The name Malaka is probably derived from the Phoenician word for salt because fish was salted near the harbour; in other Semitic languages the word for salt is still Hebrew מלח mélaḥ or Arabic ملح milḥ.

About seven centuries later, the Romans conquered the city along with the other Spanish areas of Carthago. From the 5th century CE it was under the rule of the Visigoths. In the 8th century, Spain was conquered by the Moors, and the city became an important centre of trade. During this time, the city was called Mālaqah (Arabic مالقة). At a late stage of the reconquista, the reconquering of Spain, Málaga became Christian again, in 1487.

Málaga underwent fierce bombing by the Italian and Nationalist air forces during the Spanish Civil War in 1936. Tourism on the adjacent Costa del Sol boosted the city's economy in the 1960s.

Tourism
The city is a very popular tourist destination and as such has large numbers of visitors each year. There are various very cheap charter flights to and from Málaga from cities like Amsterdam and London. Many people come to appreciate the good weather and fine beaches of the Costa del Sol.

From Málaga, other cities of Andalucia, like Sevilla, Córdoba and Granada, can be reached by train, bus or car.

A beautiful walk leads up the hill to the castle, which is called the Castillo de Gibralfaro (Parador). From here there is a very beautiful view over the city, as the pictures show. The castle is next to the Alcazaba, which in turn is next to the inner city of Málaga. By taking the Paseo del Parque, a promenade that runs alongside a park with many palm trees and statues, one can walk from the Alcazaba to the harbour.

Sights in Málaga
Alcazaba (Arabic fortress)
Gibralfaro Castle
Harbour, one of the most important in Spain.
The Picasso Foundation - Native Home Museum of Picasso
Museo Picasso Málaga
CAC Málaga (museum of modern art)
Museo Interactivo de la Música (MIMMA)
Museo Municipal (city museum).
Museo de Artes y Tradiciones Populares (Arts and People's Traditions Museum)
Cathedral of the Encarnation, neoclasical, in the inner city.
Palacio Episcopal (Bishop's Palace in the inner city)
Iglesia del Sagrario (Church in the inner city)
Iglesia Parroquial de Santiago (St. Jacob Church in the inner city)
Palacio de los Condes de Buenavista (palace in the inner city)
Plaza de Toros (bullring)

Posted by airwolf09 13:19 Archived in Spain Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Versailles, Ile de France

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Versailles, formerly the capital city of the kingdom of France, is now a wealthy suburb of Paris and is still an important administrative and judicial center. The city (commune) of Versailles, located in the western suburbs of Paris, is the préfecture (capital) of the Yvelines département. Population of the city at the 1999 census was 85,726 inhabitants, down from a peak of 94,145 inhabitants in 1975. Versailles is made world-famous by the Château de Versailles, from the forecourt of which the city has grown.

A seat of power
Versailles was the unofficial capital city of the kingdom of France from May 1682 (King Louis XIV moves the court and government permanently to Versailles) until September 1715 (death of Louis XIV and regency, with the regent Philippe d'Orléans returning to Paris), and then again from June 1722 (King Louis XV returns to Versailles permanently) to October 1789 (King Louis XVI forced to move back to Paris by the people of Paris). During the entire period, Paris remained the official capital city of France, and the official royal palace was the Palace of the Louvre, but in practice government affairs were conducted from Versailles, and Versailles was regarded as the real capital city.

Versailles became again the unofficial capital city of France from March 1871 (French government takes refuge in Versailles due to the insurrection of the Paris Commune) until November 1879 (newly elected left-wing republicans relocate government and parliament to Paris).

Versailles was made the préfecture (capital) of the Seine-et-Oise département at its inception in March 1790 (Seine-et-Oise had approximately 400,000 inhabitants at its creation). By the 1960s, with the growth of the Paris suburbs, the Seine-et-Oise département had reached almost 3 million inhabitants and was deemed too large and ungovernable, and thus it was split into three départements in January 1968. Versailles was made the préfecture of the Yvelines département, the largest chunk of the former Seine-et-Oise département. At the 1999 census the Yvelines département had 1,354,304 inhabitants.

Versailles is also the seat of a Roman Catholic diocese (bishopric) which was created in 1790. The diocese of Versailles depends from the archdiocese of Paris.

In 1975 Versailles was made the seat of a Court of Appeal, whose jurisdiction covers the western suburbs of Paris.

Since 1972, Versailles was made the seat of one of France's 26 académies of the Ministry of National Education, in charge of supervising all the elementary schools and high schools of the western suburbs of Paris.

Versailles is also an important node for the French army, a tradition going back to the monarchy, with for instance the military camp of Sartory and other institutions.

The name of Versailles appears for the first time in a medieval document dated 1038. In the end of the 11th century the village curled around a medieval castle and the Saint Julien church. Its farming activity and its location on the road from Paris to Dreux and Normandy brought prosperity to the village, culminating in the end of the 13th century, the so-called "century of Saint Louis", famous for the prosperity of northern France and the building of gothic cathedrals. The 14th century brought the Black Plague and the Hundred Years' War, and with it death and destruction. At the end of the Hundred Years' War in the 15th century, the village started to recover, with a population of only 100 inhabitants.

In 1561, Martial de Loménie, officer of the crown, became lord of Versailles. He obtained permission to organize four fairs per year, and one market every Thursday. The population of Versailles was 500 inhabitants. In 1575 the seigneury of Versailles ended up in the possession of the family of Gondi, a family of wealthy and influential parliamentarians at the Parlement of Paris. In the 1610s, the Gondi invited several times the king Louis XIII on some hunting trips in the large forests of Versailles. In 1622 the king became the owner of a piece of wood in Versailles for his private hunting. Later in 1624 he bought some land and ordered Philibert Le Roy to build there a small hunting "gentleman's chateau" of stone and red bricks with a roof of slate. In this small castle happened the famous historical event called the Day of the Dupes, on November 10, 1630, when the party of the queen mother was defeated and Richelieu was confirmed as prime minister. Eventually, in 1632, the king obtained the seigneury of Versailles altogether from the Gondi. The castle was enlarged between 1632 and 1634. At the death of Louis XIII in 1643 the village had 1,000 inhabitants. King Louis XIV, his son, was only 5-year-old.

It was only 20 years later, in 1661, when Louis XIV started his personal reign, that the young king showed interest in Versailles. The idea of leaving Paris, where as a child he had experienced first-hand the insurrection of the Fronde, had never left him. Louis XIV commissioned his architect Le Vau and his landscape architect Le Nôtre to transform the castle of his father, as well as the park, in order to accommodate the court. In 1678, after the Treaty of Nijmegen, the king decided that the court and the government would be established permanently in Versailles, which happened on May 6, 1682.

At the same time, a new city was emerging from the ground, resulting from an ingenious decree of the king dated May 22, 1671, whereby the king authorized anyone to acquire a lot in the new city for free. There were only two conditions to acquire a lot: 1- a token tax of 5 shillings (5 sols) per arpent of land should be paid every year (in 2005 US dollars, that's $0.03 per 1,000 ft² per year); 2- a house should be built on the lot according to the plans and models established by the Surintendant des Bâtiments du Roi (architect in chief of the royal demesne). The plans provided for a city built symmetrically with respect to the Avenue de Paris (which starts from the entrance of the castle). The roofs of the buildings and houses of the new city were not to exceed the level of the Marble Courtyard, at the entrance of the castle (built above a hill dominating the city), so that the perspective from the windows of the castle would not be obstructed. The old village and the Saint Julien church were destroyed to make room for buildings housing the administrative services managing the daily life in the castle. On both sides of the Avenue de Paris were built the Notre-Dame neighborhood and the Saint-Louis neighborhood, with new large churches, markets, aristocratic mansions, buildings all built in very homogenous style according to the models established by the Surintendant des Bâtiments du Roi. Versailles was a vast construction site for many years. Little by little came to Versailles all those that needed or desired to live close to the political power. At the death of the Sun King in 1715, the village of Versailles had turned into a city of approximately 30,000 inhabitants.

When the court of King Louis XV returned to Versailles in 1722, the city had 24,000 inhabitants. With the reign of Louis XV, Versailles grew even further. Versailles was the capital of the most powerful kingdom of Europe, and the whole of Europe admired the new architecture and design trends coming from Versailles. Soon enough, the strict building rules decided under Louis XIV were not respected anymore, real estate speculation flourished, and the lots that had been given for free under Louis XIV were now on the market for hefty prices. By 1744 the population had reached 37,000 inhabitants. The city changed considerably under kings Louis XV and Louis XVI. Buildings were now taller. King Louis XV built a Ministry of War, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (where the Treaty of Versailles ending the American Revolutionary War was signed in 1783 with the United Kingdom), and a Ministry of the Navy. By 1789 the population had reached 50,000 inhabitants, and Versailles was now the third or fourth largest city of France, and one of the largest cities of Europe.

Seat of the political power, Versailles naturally became the cradle of the French Revolution. The Estates-General met in Versailles on May 5, 1789. The members of the Third Estate took the Tennis Court Oath on June 20, 1789, and the National Constituent Assembly abolished feudalism on August 4, 1789. Eventually, on October 5 and 6, 1789, a throng from Paris invaded the castle and forced the royal family to move back to Paris. The National Constituent Assembly followed the king to Paris soon afterwards, and Versailles lost its role of capital city.

From then on, Versailles lost a good deal of its inhabitants. From 50,000, the population declined to 28,000 inhabitants in 1824. The castle, stripped of its furniture and ornaments during the Revolution, was left abandoned, with only Napoleon briefly staying one night there and then leaving the castle for good. King Louis-Philippe saved the castle from total ruin by transforming it into a National Museum dedicated to "all the glories of France" in 1837. Versailles had become a sort of Sleeping Beauty. It was a place of pilgrimage for those nostalgic of the old monarchy.

On January 18, 1871 following the Franco-Prussian War the Germans proclaimed the king of Prussia, Wilhelm I, emperor of Germany in the very Hall of Mirrors of the castle, in an attempt to take revenge for the conquests of Louis XIV two centuries earlier. Then in March of the same year, following the insurrection of the Paris Commune the French government under Thiers relocated to Versailles, from where the insurrection was militarily quelled. The government and the French parliament stayed in Versailles after the quelling of the insurrection, and it was even thought for some time that the capital of France would be moved definitely to Versailles in order to avoid the revolutionary mood of Paris in the future. Restoration of the monarchy was even almost realized in 1873. Versailles was again the political center of France, full of buzz and rumors. Eventually, as the left-wing republicans won elections after elections, the parties supporting a restoration of the monarchy were defeated and the new majority decided to relocate the government to Paris in November 1879. After that, Versailles was never again used as the capital city of France, but the presence of the French Parliament there in the 1870s left a vast hall built in one aisle of the palace which is still used by the French Parliament when it meets in Congress to amend the French Constitution.

It was not until 1901 that Versailles recovered its level of population of 1790, with 54,982 inhabitants at the 1901 census. In 1919, at the end of the First World War, Versailles was put in the limelight again as the various treaties ending the war were negotiated and signed in the castle proper and in the Grand Trianon. After 1919, as the suburbs of Paris were ever expanding, Versailles was absorbed by the urban area of Paris and the city experienced a strong demographic and economic growth, turning it into a large suburban city of the metropolitan area of Paris. The role of Versailles as an administrative and judicial center has been reinforced in the 1960s and 1970s, and somehow Versailles has become the main centre of the western suburbs of Paris.

The centre of the town has kept its very bourgeois atmosphere, while more middle-class neighborhoods have developed around the train stations and in the outskirts of the city. Extremely well linked with the center of Paris by several train lines, Versailles is a chic suburb of Paris. However, the city is extremely compartmented, divided by large avenues inherited from the monarchy which create the impression of several small cities ignoring each other. Versailles was never an industrial city, even though there are a few chemical and food processing plants. Essentially, Versailles is a place of services, such as public administration, tourism, business congresses, and festivals.

Posted by airwolf09 13:26 Archived in France Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

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