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Monday, November 25, 2013

Château d'Azay-le-Rideau: one of the foremost examples of early French renaissance architecture. - Exploring the castles of the River Loire Valley #5

The beautiful entrance of the Château d'Azay-le-Rideau, situated 40 minutes away from Tours is one of the most amazing castles along the river Loire in France.

Why the Castle of Azay-le-Rideau is one of the most famous castles of the River Loire Valley in France?

There are many good reasons for the Château d'Azay-le-Rideau to be one of the most famous castles of the River Loire Valley:

1. Its setting:
the Château d'Azay-le-Rideau is situated on an island in the middle of the Indre river, surrounded by a beautiful park, the Château d'Azay-le-Rideau is one of the most scenic in the Loire Valley.

2. Its architecture:
the Château d'Azay-le-Rideau is one of the foremost examples of early French renaissance architecture.
The writer Balzac, who lived nearby, deeply admired the building, describing it as 'a facetted diamond, set in the Indre'.

3.Its history:
the original medieval castle fell victim to the rivalry between Burgundian and Armagnac factions during the Hundred Years' War. In 1418, the future Charles VII passed through Azay-le-Rideau as he fled from Burgundian occupied Paris, angered by the insults of the Burgundian troops occupying the town, the dauphin ordered his own army to storm the castle.
The 350 soldiers inside were all executed and the castle itself burnt to the ground. For centuries, this fate was commemorated in the town's name of Azay-le-Brûlé (literally Azay the Burnt), which remained in use until the 18th century.



What is inside the Château d'Azay-le-Rideau?
(from www.wikipedia.com)

The Château d'Azay-le-Rideau is made up of several drawing rooms and stately apartments, most of which are decorated in the neo-renaissance style popular during the 19th century.

Many of the rooms of the the Château d'Azay-le-Rideau display 16th- and 17th-century Flemish tapestries.

The most famous tapestries are the 'Scenes from the Old Testament' woven in Audenarde, and the 'Story of Psyche', which was created in Brussels.

The château also houses a significant collection of artwork, including a 'Dame au Bain' (possibly depicting Diane de Poitiers) by François Clouet, and several portraits of French monarchs, including Francis I, Henry III and Catherine de Medici.



Azay-le-Rideau is just the castle?

Although the little town of Azay-le-Rideau is certainly famous because of the castle, Azay-le-Rideau is not just the castle.

It is worth to wonder around the beautiful little town of Azay-le-Rideau, with its beautiful houses and cottages,

It is a picturesque little town of around three thousands habitants and its still preserve its medieval style and architecture.



This post has been made thanks to the great help and support of Caroline and Gilles Lemerle from St Michel sur la Loire.

If I have to choose, what are the other castles of the River Loire Valley I should absolutely visit?

All the castles of the River Loire Valley, but time and money suggest you should make a choice.
We selected for you an itinerary, so to give you the widest sight and prospective about these beautiful chateaux, so unique and so different one with the others.

Here the links to the other castles we absolutely suggest you visit:

Exploring the Castles of the River Loire Valley #1 - The 

Castle of Nantes




What else should I visit in France?

Read our page Visit France for more posts and


destinations.




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