【The Encyclopedia of Huang Family Ancient Buildings】【Huang Jian Bo Kaifeng Chasing Shadows】【Journeying for beauty and collecting relics】
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Chapter 2154: Castles of Loire Valley, Chenonceau-Chambord
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During Hundred Years War between Great Britain and France, in order to resist external enemies, two countries successively built many castles, a typical example of which is in Loire Valley.
The Loire Valley Castles are a group of castles located in Loire Valley in France. Most of castles in Loire Valley were built in mid-16th century and most of them are French Renaissance buildings and are now important tourist attractions in France.
From 14th century, Valois dynasty moved court to Loire region, making it political center of France. In 16th century, Italy was briefly ruled by several French kings, and legacy of Italian Renaissance began to take root in France, leading to French Renaissance. Many French nobles gathered in Loire Valley and da Vinci was invited here by King Francis I of France in early 16th century. In middle of 16th century, due to conflict between religious beliefs and Christianity and spread of plague, golden age of Loire River ended, but a large number of richly decorated French castles still remain.
The most famous castles in group of castles of Loire Valley:
Château d'Amboise is a French castle located in Amboise on Loire River in France. The year of construction of castle of Amboise is no longer known, only prototype of castle can be traced back to Roman era. Since 14th century, Valois dynasty moved court to Loire region, and castle of Amboise became a royal castle.
Charles VIII of Valois dynasty ordered expansion of castle, but Charles VIII died at age of 28, and Louis XII, who succeeded him, continued reconstruction of castle based on Charles VIII. His successor, Francis I, was hailed as founder of Renaissance. He hired a large number of artists to work in France, including famous painter Da Vinci. At this time, Amboise Castle was under control of Francis I. The next one is more majestic. Da Vinci was also buried in Chapel of Saint Hubert at the Château de Amboise after his death.
Da Vinci, buried in chapel of Saint Hubert in Château de Amboise.
Château d'Angers is a large French castle in Angers, France. The castle of Angers stands on a cliff on banks of river Maine and, thanks to its strategic defensive position, was once one of places where Romans lived.
In 9th century, fort belonged to powerful counts of Anjou, and in 12th century, to Plantagenet kings of England. In 1204 area was conquered by Philip II, whose grandson Louis IX (Saint Louis) built an extensive castle in early 13th century.
Angers Castle has a circumference of 600 meters and covers an area of 25,000 square meters. It is surrounded by 17 huge towers, each of which was once 40 meters high, but was later lowered for use of cannons. Only mill tower retained its original height.
In 1352, John II gave castle to his son Louis I of Naples. Louis married daughter of wealthy Breton duke Charles de Blois, reconstructed castle, and in 1373 commissioned Bruges artist Hennequin and Parisian tapestry weaver Nicolas Bataille to complete famous tapestry of Apocalypse.
Louis II of Naples (son of Louis I) and Yolanda of Aragon added chapel of Saint Genevieve (1405–1412) and royal apartments. The chapel is dedicated to a fragment of Life-Giving Cross acquired by King Louis Saint.
At beginning of 15th century, French crown prince fled from Paris to castle of Angers with help of Joan of Arc, and later became Charles VII.
In 1562, Catherine de Medici turned castle into a powerful fortress, but her son Henry III lowered tower and used stones of castle to build streets and villages. But in face of threat from Huguenots, king installed artillery on balcony of castle to support defenses of castle. At end of 18th century, its thick walls withstood massive bombardment of Vendean rebels, showing its value as a military fortress.
A military academy has been set up in castle to train young officers in strategy. Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, who defeated Napoleon I at Battle of Waterloo, also trained at Military Academy of Angers.
During Second World War, Nake ammunition depot exploded in castle. The castle was badly damaged. Today castle belongs to city of Angers and has been turned into a museum. It houses largest and oldest medieval tapestry collection in world, among which 14th century "Tapestry of Apocalypse" is one of its priceless treasures.
On January 10, 2009, an accidental fire broke out in castle, completely burning roof of 400 square meters, and total damage was estimated at 2 million euros.
Chateau de Blois is a French castle located in center of city of Blois, France, a royal castle among castles in Loire Valley, where many French kings lived. It actually consists of several buildings built in succession from 13th to the 17th centuries, with a total of 564 rooms.
Château de Chambord is located in Chambord, Loire et Cher, France. Chambord Castle is largest castle among castles of Loire Valley, located 15 kilometers east of Blois in Central Loire region of France, now it is a French national park, and historically it was hunting palace of royal family.
This is largest walled garden in Europe. The castle and surrounding hunting forest cover a total area of 54.4 square kilometers. The perimeter of forest wall is 32.2 kilometers, equivalent to about 75 Forbidden Cities, or an urban area within second ring road Beijing. The main part of castle has a length of 156 m, a height of 56 m, 77 stairs, 282 chimneys and 440 rooms, it took 166 years to build. The first episode of second season of online entertainment video program "Journey to the South" was dedicated to this castle.
In 1519, Francis I of Valois ordered construction of Chambord, but until his death in 1547 he only completed main tower and outbuilding. Francis I spent only 72 days in Chambord during his 33 years on throne. In 1539, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V came here to meet King Francis I of France. Both hoped to marry Claude, Duchess of Brittany to inherit region of Brittany, and Charles V was engaged to Claude before Francis I.
However, in 1514 François I took initiative to marry Claude, so Brittany was incorporated into France. However, Claude died of illness in 1524. France and Holy Roman Empire were also at war with each other. Francis I was taken prisoner by Charles V at Battle of Pavia. However, he met Charles V's sister Eleanor and married latter as new French king. So when François I met Charles V at Chambord in 1539, they became rivals in love and became related.
Francis I died in 1547, and his seven successors slowly continued project. Only in 1685, in era of Louis XIV, construction of Chambord was finally completed. Among all building materials used in castle of Chambord, soft and fragile limestone from Loire Valley region is used, more natural than in many other castles. This castle combines splendor of a medieval fortress and rich connotations of Italian Renaissance, but does not have any significant functions for housing or military defense. Combined with remote location and inconvenient exchange of materials, successive kings rarely came to play here.
From moment Francis I ascended throne in 1515, he set out to conquer province of Milan in Italy, which his predecessor, King Louis XII, had failed to hold. Returning to France to celebrate his victory at Marignano, and influenced by style of Italian Renaissance, ambitious and obsessed hunter François I began building Château de Chambord. In his conception, castle of Chambord completely retained appearance of a medieval fortress, including main tower, accompanied by four large towers and two flanking buildings, surrounded by a wall around entire building. Just one look at scattered and intricately decorated rooftops is like a small town. Its interior also combines French and Italian Renaissance styles.
Castle designer contradiction:
The first statement da Vinci said was,
Da Vinci was involved in development of projects with similar structures, and many designs in his manuscripts were reflected in Chambord, such as double spiral staircase. François invited Leonardo da Vinci to France to design palaces and castles and even city planning. However, Leonardo da Vinci died before construction of Chambord began, and original design was changed during construction of Chambord.
The second argument is that Domenico da Cortona said:
This architect from Italy is indeed architect loved by French royal family, and Chambord-like Parisian town hall is his work. In addition, he made a model of Chambord and participated in real building work. However, project of Paris City Hall was started in 1533, 14 years later than Chambord, making models and participating in construction does not prove that he is a designer.
The third theory is that Francis I said,
This statement claims that both da Vinci and da Cortona were actually involved in design work, and Francis I himself actually led planning, design adjustments and implementation of project. So while king was in captivity, work stalled. Moreover, on one hand, Chambord has an Italian Renaissance style, and on other, a French style, which corresponds to many medieval castles on Loire River, which suggests that designer should not be Da Vinci or Da Vinci. Cortona is purely from Italy.
Four sights of castle:
Double Spiral Staircase: Two stairways encircle a hollow cylinder in middle, starting at two points where diameter and circumference intersect, and spiraling up. If two people climb two stairs at same time, they will see each other many times, but they will never meet on stairs. People have found same design in manuscripts of Leonardo da Vinci and it has been concluded that double helix staircase was his design. It has been suggested that this was done to prevent embarrassment and quarrels when king's mistresses ran into each other on stairs. Even original design may have been a four-step spiral staircase dividing each floor into four suites of its own.
In other words, each suite can only be accessed by its own staircase. With mistresses living in different retinues, it is difficult to get to know each other, and king can spend less energy on resolving their conflicts. Another point of view is that this is a design derived from military applications: in order for soldiers in defensive tower not to be bought by enemy and any rebellion, they were allowed into a defensive position from mutually inaccessible paths. This prevents the entire tower from losing its defensive function in wartime.
The roof at top of main castle: although it is not too high, it still gives people a sense of detachment from world. The terrace is used for women and underage members of royal family to watch hunt. activities calmly and comfortably.
Francis I's apartments: Francis I built his apartments in east wing instead of main castle, while other suites with queen, governor's suites, princess suites, etc. are in main castle. To facilitate communication between flanks and main castle, interior structure of north tower was also flipped 180 degrees. Generally speaking, emperor likes to live in center, but Francis I built apartments in east wing, reasons for this are varied and inconclusive.
The carved vault of hall on third floor of main castle: among many salamanders and F signs symbolizing Francis I, no two are alike. The carving here defies feudal hierarchy, as salamander always wears a crown on its head. During Middle Ages in Europe, emperor refers specifically to monarch of Roman Empire, who must be crowned by pope in order to be recognized. Other monarchs in each territory can only be called kings, dukes, counts, etc. Francis I was only king of France, not emperor of Roman people. However, in Chambord not only salamanders wear crowns, but shape of crown is carved on highest point of castle.
The Château de Chenonceau, also known as Château de Chenonceau or Château des Ladies, is located in Loire Valley in Indre-Loire, France, near small village of Chenonceau built on River Loire On River Cher, a tributary, first mentioned in historical records in 11th century. The current castle was designed by French Renaissance architect Philibert Delorme. The forerunner of Chenonceau Castle was set on fire by royal army in 1411 to punish mutiny of then lord Jean Marques.
He later rebuilt castle in 1430s and also built a watermill. Later, as Pierre Marques, heir of Jean Marques, was saddled with huge debts, he sold castle in 1513 to Thomas Boer, then finance minister of King Charles VIII (Boyet) of France. Between 1515 and 1521, Boer demolished castle to build a new official residence. The demolition and construction was sometimes overseen by Bauer's wife, Catherine Brisonnet. Catherine also enjoyed serving nobles of France, including serving King Francis I of France at two banquets.
Later, since son of Boer did not pay debt to king, castle of Chenonceau was captured by Francis I. After death of Francis I in 1547, Henry II gave castle to his mistress Diane de Poitiers, because she loved Chenonceau very much. She built an arched bridge to connect castle to other side. She then supervised creation of large flower beds, kitchen gardens and orchards. Since it is located near riverfront, a stone platform was designed to protect gardens from flooding, and exquisite garden was divided into four triangles.
Diana de Poitiers was undoubtedly favorite of Chenonceau, but until 1555 ownership of castle was in hands of king. However, in 1555, due to a weak legal framework, Diana finally became owner of Château de Chenonceau. But after death of Henry II in 1559, his wife Catherine de Medici expelled Diana. Since ownership of castle no longer belonged to king, Princess Catherine did not fully own it, but Catherine forced Diana to move to Chaumont castle. Later, castle of Chenonceau became most beloved residence of Princess Catherine, and a new garden was added to castle.
As Queen of France, Catherine spends her money on castles and sumptuous evening banquets. In 1560, first fireworks were arranged in France in honor of accession to throne of Catherine's son Francois II. The majestic embankment was completely extended to opposite bank of river over original bridge in 1577.
After Catherine's death in 1589, Château de Chenonceau belonged to Princess Louise of Lorraine-Vaudemont, wife of her son Henry III. Here Louise learned that Henry III had been killed and died. Since then, Louise has been depressed and wanders aimlessly along waterfront of Noda's castle in mourning clothes, passing by a tapestry embroidered with crossed images of skulls and bones.
The next lady to take possession of Chenonceau in 1624 was Gabrielle d'Estre, mistress of Henry IV. After that, heirs of Princess Louise, Duke and Duchess of Vendôme (Vandôme) became new owners of castle of Chenonceau. Then castle passed to heirs of Valois dynasty, and Chenonceau was inhabited and abandoned for more than 100 years.
Louis IV Henri de Bourbon, Duke of Bourbon, acquired castle of Chenonceau in 1720. Later, he gradually sold properties in castle one by one, and finally castle was sold to a landowner named Claude Dauphin.
Claude's wife, Modigliani (Madame Louise Dupin), was daughter of Samuel Bernard, Louis XV's finance minister, and grandmother of George Sand. Modigliani hosted leaders of Enlightenment in castle, including Voltaire, Montesquieu, Buffon, Fontenelle, Pierre Carlet de Marivaux and Jean • Jacob Rousseau and others. She saved castle of Chenonceau from French Revolution, protecting castle from hordes of revolution, because it was needed for trade and tourism: Chenonceau was only bridge for many miles around.
It is said that Modigliani was only person in history who changed spelling of castle from Chenonceau to Chenonceau because she wanted to please inhabitants of valley during French Revolution. She refused X because it was a symbol of royal power, which distinguished it from republic, although no official information was found to support this claim (the name of castle then became known as Chenonceau).
In 1864, a Scot named Daniel Wilson (who installed gas lamps in Paris) bought Chenonceau for his daughter. She followed tradition of previous princess Catherine and also threw a lavish banquet, but she also devastated her fortune on this. So Chenonceaux Castle was captured and resold in 1891 to José Emilio Terry, a Cuban magnate. José Terry sold castle to his relative Francisco Terry in 1896. The Meunier family, famous for their chocolate, bought castle in 1913 and Meunier family still owns Château de Chenonceau to this day.
During First World War, Menil family set up a temporary hospital on embankment of castle of Chenonceau. During World War II, it was gateway from occupied Nazzem area to Vichy France on other side of Cher River.
In 1940, a flood of Cher River destroyed garden built by Diana. In 1951, Menil family entrusted restoration of castle to Bernard Voisin, because he bought buildings and gardens destroyed by 1940 flood and restored them to their original splendor. Chenonceau Castle is a mixture of Gothic and early Renaissance architecture, and castle and gardens are open to public. Apart from Versailles, Chenonceau is most visited castle in France.
Château de Chinon (Forteresse royale de Chinon or Château de Chinon) is located in Indre-et-Loire department in France. The castle was built in 945 by Theobald I, Count of Blois of Loire dynasty and was used by royal family in 12th century. During reign of Philip IV, castle was used for trial of Knights Templar.
Château de Langeais is a medieval French castle located in city of Indre-et-Loire in France. Langeais Castle is now a historical monument in France and is open to general public.
Château de Loches is located in Loches in Loire Valley in Indre-et-Loire department in France. In 12th century, King Henry II of England and his son Richard I designed and built Loches Castle. During war for control of France, Philip II attacked castle and finally conquered it in 1205. Subsequently, castle was converted into a military fort.
Charles VII gave castle to his mistress Agnès Sorel, and it became Charles's favorite residence. Louis XIV, son of Charles, spent his childhood in Château de Loches, after ascending throne, he planned to turn castle into a national prison, but in end he chose Château de Amboise.
During American Revolutionary War, France financed American uprising against British, and Louis XVI used Loches as a prison for British.
During French Revolution, castle of Loches suffered serious damage. Although it has been restored since 1806, some ruins still remain.
Château de Saumur is a medieval French castle located in city of Saumur, France. The castle was first built in 10th century.
Château de Tours is a castle located in Tours, France. Built in 11th century, it shows architecture of Carolingian dynasty and was residence of French nobility.
Until 2000s, castle of Tours was used as an aquarium, in which about 200 species and 1500 fish were exhibited, and Grevin Wax Museum was opened. The castle was listed as a historical monument of France on August 20, 1913.
The building is currently used for exhibitions of paintings and photographs, including works by Miro, Daniel Buren, Nadal, as well as exhibits of archaeological and historical documents, models, audiovisual films, etc. about history of Tours.
Château d'Azay-le-Rideau (pronunciation Château d'Azay-le-Rideau:) is a French-style castle located on banks of Andre River in Azay-le-Rideau, France. It was built between 1518 and 1527 and belongs to Loire Valley. Part of castle complex.
The original castle of Azay-le-Rideau was a military fortress built in 12th century that was destroyed during a battle between Armagnac faction and Burgundian faction. In 1518, Gilles Berthelot, mayor of Tours and treasurer of king, bought ruins of castle and turned them into his residence. However, due to Berthelot's workload, castle construction project was led by his wife, Philippa Lesbachy, and due to building materials and problems with terrain, project was delayed. In 1527, Berthelot family became involved in political problems and Berthelot fled France. Francis I confiscated unfinished castle and donated it to his close vassal Antoine Ruffin in 1535. But Ruffin did not finish castle, so castle still retains L-shaped structure.
Château de Chanteloup is a French castle near Amboise in Indre-et-Loire, France. It was originally country residence of Etienne François (Duke de Choiseul), built in 1760 in classical style. surrounded by beautiful gardens.
Shantelou Castle has a six-story Chinese-style pagoda built in 1775-1778, 44 meters high. In 1996, building was included in list of historical monuments of France.
Château des ducs de Bretagne (Château des ducs de Bretagne) is a large French-style castle located in Nantes, a city in Loire-Atlantique department in France, which was historically capital of Brittany until 1941. .year left. The castle is located on right bank of Loire.
From 13th to 16th century, it was residence of Dukes of Brittany, and then residence of French monarchs in Brittany.
In 1862, castle was listed as a historical monument by French Ministry of Culture. Today castle houses Historical Museum of Nantes.
Since 1990s, Nantes has undergone extensive renovations and renovations to restore Nantes and Brittany to their historic glory. After 15 years of construction and 3 years of closure, it reopened on 9 February 2007 and is now a popular tourist attraction.
The restored buildings include new Museum of History of Nantes, located in 32nd hall of castle.
Château d'Ussé (château d'Ussé) is a French castle located in French city of Rini-Ussé. This is prototype of Sleeping Beauty castle from Charles Perrault's fairy tale, and tourists can visit scenes and wax figures associated with this story. Since 1931, the castle of Uzès has been recognized as a French historical monument. Uzès Castle is also a famous tourist attraction in France.
Château de Villandry is a French castle located in French city of Villandry (Indre-Loire), famous for its French garden. In 2000, Villandry Castle, as one of castles of Loire Valley, was inscribed on World Cultural Heritage List and is a famous tourist attraction in France. In 2007, about 330,000 tourists visited Villandry Castle.
Château de Menars is a medieval French castle located in city of Menard, France. Built by Madame de Pompadour. Monar Castle is now a famous tourist attraction in France. . .
Jumbo Huang Notes: The Loire Valley (French: Vallée de la Loire, pronounced ), stretching for 280 kilometers (170 miles), is located in middle stretch of Loire River in central France, in both Pays de La Loire and Center-Val de Loire. The area of the Loire Valley is about 800 square kilometers (310 sq mi). It is called cradle of French and garden of France because of abundance of vineyards, orchards (such as cherry trees), fields of artichokes and asparagus along banks of river. Known for its historic towns, architecture and wines, valley has been inhabited since Middle Paleolithic. In 2000, UNESCO added central part of Loire Valley to list of World Heritage Sites.
Chapter 2155: Montsoreau, Cradle of French Language, Château de Vincennes, Highest Fortress