A castle on Loire River in France often appears on calendar images,
The appearance of these ancient castles is magnificent and elegant, which makes people yearn for it...
【Loire river location】
The Loire River, with a total length of 1020 kilometers, is longest river in France
Starting from Central Plateau, it flows into Atlantic Ocean on Brittany Peninsula.
The Loire Valley is one of centers of ancient French civilization, on both sides of which there are many historical sites,
The 240 km river valley from Orléans to Angers is area with most castles in France,
This section is called Loire Valley (Loire Valley, pictured below).
【Classification of locks】
There are more than 140 castles in Loire Valley, which can be divided into three categories:
1. Defensive castles like Shannonburg
2. Combat and living quarters are surrounded by stone walls. When war subsides, it will be rebuilt into a living space represented by Fort Blois and Fort Ambers
3. For life outside, moat, towers and battlements are still preserved, all beautifully decorated. Chambord is a classic
[Why are there so many castles? 】
France in Middle Ages was a chaotic era of feudal hegemony,
With Loire river as a barrier, many defensive castles were built along riverbank,
The earliest castle was built in 9th century and was a wooden castle built to protect against invading Vikings.
During Valois dynasty (Valois, 1328–1589), Hundred Years War broke out between Great Britain and France,
The Loire River has become front line of confrontation between two sides (as shown in picture below), and number of defensive castles has increased significantly.
After end of war, from end of 15th century to end of 16th century, this was most glorious period of Loire castle.
Because of beautiful landscapes and pleasant climate, Loire Valley is only 150 km from capital of Paris and has become back garden of Paris,
Princes and nobles came here to build magnificent castles, combining Gothic, Renaissance and classical styles, as places for hunting, entertainment and recreation.
[Five Famous Castles]
The five most famous castles of Loire Valley:
Chambord, Amboise, Chenonceau, Azelle-le-Rideau, Blois
Château de Chenonceau
Château de Blois
[Transfer from Italy]
The period of ornate castle building in Loire Valley peaked during reign of Francis I (pictured above).
He is tall and powerful, 2 meters tall, loves to fight personally;
Influenced by his mother's passion for art, he loved art from childhood, and later became founder of French Renaissance.
In 1515, he ascended throne at age of 21 and immediately led French army to capture Ducato di Milano (located in northern Italy),
He witnessed rise of Italian Renaissance and decided to bring brilliant art and architectural style of Italian Renaissance to France.
Over next 10 years, Francis I hired people to actively acquire works of Italian Renaissance master Mie.
Most of huge royal collections in today's Louvre began to be collected at this time.
【Daxing Luxurious Building】
Due to emergence of Renaissance thought, French traditional culture has undergone fundamental changes
Princes and aristocrats were artistic, fascinated by arts and built luxurious buildings.
Francis I oversaw construction of many gigantic castles and palaces, including: Fontainebleau, Chambord and extensively renovated Louvre
He invited many artists and craftsmen from Italy, most famous of which is talented artist Da Vinci.
Francis I captured Duchy of Milan in his second year (1516)
Invite Da Vinci to France and live in Clos Luce (pictured above), 400 meters from Ambersberg;
In this residence, da Vinci spent last three years of his life. In addition to tens of thousands of manuscripts, items that da Vinci brought,
There is also famous Mona Lisa painting.
Clowlusburg, converted into a museum, furniture and furnishings still retain look of year,
Mainly presents various models based on da Vinci's sketches
There are also weapons, compasses, pumps, bicycles and other tools that Francis I asked him to design but did not use.
Da Vinci's tomb in chapel of Saint Hubert.
Here rests genius, making Loire Valley even more beautiful