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As far back as the 15th century it appeared that the Domaine de Sceaux, a simple house standing on the western side of a hill, was important enough for Louis XI to come and dine here. He was received by the owner, Jehan Baillet, Master of Ordinary Requests of the King’s Household. A century later, Louis Potier, Baron de Gesvres, had a first château built on the site, then Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the Controller-General of Finances, acquired the property in 1670. Colbert was the second most important person in France after the King and, as Sceaux was in an ideal location between Paris and Versailles, he employed all the landscaping arts of his day to turn it into an estate befitting his rank.