After falling in love with the area during a royal hunting trip, Louis XIII ordered the construction of his hunting lodge in 1624. At that time, Versailles was still just a country village.
In 1664, Louis XIV decided he needed a larger country place. He began the expansion of the hunting lodge, which turned into one of the largest palaces in the world through construction projects lasting from 1664 through 1710. During this time, the chateau began to assume some of the appearance that it has today. Louis employed the talents of Le Vau, Le Notre, Le Brun and Mansart to create the fabulous architecture and beautiful interior of the chateau.
The third building campaign which began in 1678 was directed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart which gave the palace the look it has today. He created the fabulous Hall of Mirrors the North and South wings and the Orangerie. Le Brun again worked on the interior rooms and also collaborated with Le Notre to create the grand gardens.
In 1678, Louis XIV gradually moved the court to Versailles. The court was officially established there on 6 May 1682 when the king and his queen, Marie-Therese moved to the palace.
There were also some modifications in the royal apartment and the King’s Bedchamber. The building period ended with the completion of the chapel in 1710.
Watch for our next post on the auxiliary palaces at Versailles, the Grand Trianon and the Petit Trianon!