History of the Château de Versailles
Thefirst mention of Versailles appeared in 1038 in the deeds of the Saint-Père Abbey at Chartres. Hugo de Versailliis is one of the signatories. The foundation of the parish devoted to Saint-Julien dated back to this time. The Lords of Versailles were subject to the direct authority of the King. Their modest castle dominating the church and the village stood on the
southernmost slope of the mound where the future castle will be built. The Lord of Soisy will rebuild the castle after the Hundred Years war. It consisted of a main building and a wing in return, preceded by a gateway of two turrets.
In 1561, the property belonged to Martial de Loménie, Charles IX’s Finance Minister who increased the domain to 150 hectares. He was assassinated on the night of Saint Bartholomew on 24 August 1572. Albert de Gondi purchased the estate for 35.000 pounds. Native of Florence, he came to France in the suite of Catherine de M;dicis. He was soon named Duc de Retz and Mar;chal de France and received in Versailles the visit of Henri III and his brother-in-law, the Roi de Navarre. The future Henri IV spent time in Versailles from the 7 to 9 July 1549, one month before he became the King of France. His passion for hunting, which would be shared by his descendants, was to determine the destiny of Versailles. The young Dauphin sometimes accompanied the King.
On becoming King, Louis XIII often returned to hunt in Versailles. He built in 1623, at the top of the mound, a pavilion made of bricks and stones capped by a slate roof. Louis XIII transformed and enlarged thisfirst castle from 1631 to 1634. Works were entrusted to Philibert le Roy who widens the building, rebuilt the wings and added four houses. It is today the Ch;teau des Cartes. While works were in progress, Louis XIII acquired new lands. On 8 April 1632, bought back the estate of Versaille

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