Following the assassination of his father, Henry IV, Louis rose to the throne at the age of 8. In 1614, Louis requested the explorer Samuel de Champlain to take a group of Recollects to Canada to further religious life in the newly established French colony.
In 1624, he appointed Cardinal Richelieu as his chief minister. Richelieu played an important in transforming France into a centralized state. Under his reign, the Bastille became completely dedicated to the purpose of being a prison.
The year before, Louis had a hunting lodge built at the village of Versailles. At this time, the lodge was surrounded by vast forests where Louis could indulge in hunting, his favorite sport. Louis dismissed the Louvre palace in Paris and instead preferred Versailles. After his death, he was succeeded by his son Louis XIV. Under the latter's reign, the hunting lodge was expanded and became the Palace of Versailles, the new seat of the French monarchy.