In the beginning, it was a simple brick and stone castle raised by Louis XIII in 1631. Louis XIV decided to build a palace worthy of his rank and of his family. Artists who worked on Vaux-le-Vicomte castle worked here, in Versailles, from 1663: the king kept an eye on the building site, when he was not far away at war.
Landscaper Le Nôtre laid out gardens (more than 100 hectares, which required thousands of men during 40 years, more than 200 statues...) and the architect Louis Le Vau extended the former main building. In 1678, Le Vau died.
Jules Hardouin-Mansart continued the building site and raised the western and the northern wing, completed in 1689. Louis XV erected next to the Grand Trianon (raised of Louis XIV in 1687) the Petit Trianon for his mistress madame de Pompadour. The next favourite, madame du Barry, inherited it. Then the Trianon fell to Marie-Antoinette, who raised the Hameau de la Reine ("Queen's hamlet").