The Palace of Versailles (French: Palais de Versailles) was the royal residence of the King of France, and the political center of French power for over a hundred years. It is one of the largest palaces in the world, and is widely considered an architectural and aesthetic masterpiece. It is located in the town of Versailles, twenty kilometers southwest of Paris.
Originally a hunting lodge for King Louis XIII, the palace was gradually expanded and renovated over the course of the century, its opulence eventually becoming a visual metaphor for the increasing division between the aristocracy and the populace it ruled.
By 1776, the palace was home to the newly-ascended King Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette. On 27 December of that year, members of the Assassin Order, including Charles Dorian, met in the palace to conduct business with the King. However, unbeknownst to them, the Templar Shay Cormac had gained access to the grounds with help from Benjamin Franklin, under pretext of meeting with a business associate. Seeking the Precursor box, Shay infiltrated the palace and assassinated Charles, while recovering the box at the same time.
As a crowd gathered around the body, Charles' son, Arno, returned, having chased Élise de la Serre through the palace's courtyards. He was then taken in by Élise's father, François, despite the man's role as the Grand Master of the French Templars. In 1789, François himself was assassinated by Charles Gabriel Sivert and the Roi des Thunes in the palace's central courtyard, during a celebration in honor of Élise's induction into the Templar Order. Arno, having witnessed the murder, rushed to de la Serre's aid, but was arrested for the crime and thrown into the Bastille.
As the years went on and France's civil unrest grew, on 6 October 1789 Théroigne de Méricourt led a march from Paris to the palace, forcing the royal family to relocate to Paris, which became the new capital of France. After the move, the palace was still under guard, but maintenance and upkeep fell to the town's citizens. As the French Revolution progressed, the palace was finally abandoned by troops and citizens alike.
By 1794, the palace was a popular target for bands of looters. That year, Arno, exiled from the Assassin Order and rejected by Élise, returned to Versailles, only to have his heirloom watch stolen one night after a heated tavern brawl. To retrieve it, Arno infiltrated the palace once more and killed the thieves' leader. He also encountered Élise there, who recovered the watch and convinced Arno to return to Paris, in order to help her bring down François-Thomas Germain, the man responsible for her father's death and takeover of the Templar Order by his extremists.