Louis VII (called the Younger or the Young; French: Louis le Jeune) was King of the Franks from 1137 until his death. He was the son and successor of King Louis VI of France, hence his nickname, and married Eleanor of Aquitaine, one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in western Europe. Eleanor came with the vast Duchy of Aquitaine as a dowry for Louis, thus temporarily extending the Capetian lands to the Pyrenees, but their marriage was annulled in 1152 after no male heir was produced.
Immediately after the annulment of her marriage, Eleanor married Henry Plantagenet, Duke of Normandy and Count of Anjou, to whom she gave the Aquitaine. When Henry became King of England in 1154, as Henry II, he ruled over a large empire that spanned from Scotland to the Pyrenees. Henry's efforts to preserve and expand on this patrimony for the Crown of England would mark the beginning of the long rivalry between France and England.
Louis VII's reign saw the founding of the University of Paris and the disastrous Second Crusade. Louis and his famous counselor Abbot Suger pushed for a greater centralization of the state and favoured the development French Gothic architecture, notably the construction of Notre-Dame de Paris.
He died in 1180 and was succeeded by his son Philip II.