/ / The Chateau of Azay-Le-Rideau: photo description (Chateau d'azay-le-Rideau)

The Chateau of Azay-Le-Rideau: photo description (Chateau d'azay-le-Rideau)

The Chateau of Azay-Le-Rideau is located in the French Department of Indre-et-Loire. The castle is located in the same city and built on the island in the middle of the river Indre. The castle was built from 1518 to 1527 years., and it is the masterpiece of the French Renaissance and one of the most popular castles of the Loire Valley.

The first castle building was built in the XII century by the local Lord and one of the knights of king Philip II Rideau d'azay. Built a fortress guarding the road from tours to Chinon. This castle was destroyed during the hundred years war, when the future king Charles VII fled from Burgundian occupied by the troops of Paris. Azay-Le-Rideau was too busy with the Burgundians, and, unable to bear their insults, angry the Dauphin ordered the execution of all those in the castle for 350 people, and the castle to burn down. In memory of this event the city until the XVIII century bore the name of Azay-Le-Brule, which literally translates as "burned."

The Chateau of Azay-Le-Rideau has lain in ruins until 1518, until these lands are acquired by Gilles Berthelot, mayor of tours, which is also the Royal Treasurer. Berthelot decided to build a castle in the then-popular Italian Renaissance style. However, for greater prestige he wanted in his future residence was present and inherent in the architecture of Medieval defensive elements.

The owner of the castle because of his court duties were not present when the building, which was very slow - it is necessary also to lay the Foundation on an island in the Indre river. In 1527 the castle was still unfinished when Gilles Berthelot fell into disgrace and was forced to leave the country. Francis I confiscated his territory and in 1535 gave the castle to his vassal antwone Ruffino. The castle was never completed - it only consisted of the southern and Western wings.

In the XVI-XVII centuries, the castle of Azay-Le-Rideau still belonged to the descendants of Rafina, in 1583, he underwent a small renovation, and June 27, 1619 here for the first time took king Louis XIII spent the night in this castle on the way to his mother, Marie de Medici. Later the castle came to a halt and Louis XIV.

In 1787 the castle of Azay-Le-Rideau was sold for 300 thousand French livres to the Marquis Charles de Blancura, Marshal of the Royal troops. For many years the castle was in ruins, but from 1820-ies of his new owner began extensive restoration work. In 1824 on the ground floor of the South wing appeared "Chinese Cabinet", destroyed in the 1860-ies, and in 1825-1826 Blenker graced the library carved wooden panels. The reconstruction of the castle was continued by his son of Bankura, guardsman of king Louis XVI, who participated in the defense of the Tuileries Palace in 1792. Was restored the Royal insignia on the stairs, suffered during the French revolution, extended the courtyard, adding a new East tower. Thus, the castle of Azay-Le-Rideau was finally completed, but was lost almost all the elements of medieval defensive architecture. Supervised these works by the Swiss architect Duelen, who also restored the nearby castle of Ussé.

During the Franco-Prussian war, the castle of Azay-Le-Rideau was the headquarters of the Prussian troops. Once on the dining table, which was attended by the commander of the army of the Prince of Prussia Friedrich Karl, was saddled with huge chandelier. The Prince of Prussia felt that the castle was preparing for an attack and was about to order to burn down the building, but officers managed to dissuade him.

When the Prussian army left Azay-Le-Rideau, the castle returned into the hands of the descendants of Bankura. The castle became famous for its collection of over 300 portraits, which are often exhibited to the public. But in 1899, the last owner of the castle of the genus Blenker faced financial difficulties and sold it with all the furniture and 540 hectares of land to the successful businessman of a Tour which, in turn, sold for more money all that was in the castle.

The deserted castle of Azay-Le-Rideau was purchased by the state in 1905 for 250 thousand francs and became part of the monuments of history and culture. In the first years of the Second world war, the castle sheltered the representatives of the Ministry of education of France. Now the Chateau of Azay-Le-Rideau is a world heritage site by UNESCO.

The castle of Azay-Le-Rideau, which the French writer honoré de Balzac described as a "faceted diamond, reflecting in the waters of Indra" is a masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance, which is reflected in the exquisite sculptural decorations. You can also trace partially preserved elements of medieval fortifications, for example, a covered walkway on the outer wall of the castle and covered the loopholes under the roof. Many details show typical French architectural style, for example, pointed turrets, Dormer Windows, steep roof slope.

The most remarkable detail of the structure of the castle is the main Central staircase, made under the influence of the staircase in the castle of Chateaudun. Surprisingly, the staircase is not spiral, and is the oldest example of a ladder of a similar kind in France. Staircase connects the four floors of the castle, each of which are double Windows overlooking the courtyard. Entrance into the stairwell is reminiscent of a Roman triumphal arches, it is decorated with initials of the first owner of the castle of Gilles Berthelot and his wife. On the pediments above the Windows depicts a Salamander - the symbol of king Francis I. Inside stairway is decorated with extravagant carvings and medallions with the images of all the French kings from Louis XI to Henry IV.

Inside the Chateau of Azay-Le-Rideau is also decorated in the style of the Italian Renaissance, and more modern living rooms and bedrooms of the XIX century in the style of neo-Renaissance. Posted in rooms of Flemish tapestries of the XVI-XVII centuries, including Scenes from the old Testament of Oudenaarde and "the Legend of psyche" from Brussels. The castle also houses a collection of portraits of French monarchs and painting Francois Clouet "toilet lady" that allegedly captures Diane de Poitiers.

The Chateau of Azay-Le-Rideau surrounded by an English Park of the XIX century.