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Aze-le-Rideau Castle - a state historical monument; belongs to the selected castles of the Loire, belonging to the UNESCO World Heritage, and is a masterpiece of the French Renaissance.
The history of the castle begins in the 12th century, when in its place was a fortress belonging to Rideau d'Azeil ... All possessions were seized by Henry II Plantagenet, but later Philip-August returned them to the heir Rideau d ’ Azay – Hugo, the king's loyal vassal. At the beginning of the XV, it passed into the hands of the Duke of Burgundy. In 1418 the fortress was destroyed, the village was burned down, about three hundred people were killed. After this incident, the city received the name Azay-le-Brule (burnt).
A century later, a castle was built on the site of a dilapidated fortress, which appears before us today. Many Italian artists brought from military campaigns to Italy worked on it. Part of Azay-le-Rideau belonged to the successful banker Gilles Berthelot. His wife Philippe Lebay owned the main part of the territory in Azay, which gave him the will to dispose of the entire estate and begin construction at his own discretion.
Already in 1518, extensive work began on the reconstruction of the castle. Outside the castle there are corner towers, a false watchtower, a grand staircase, reliefs with a salamander – emblem of Francis I, and ermine – the emblem of Claude de France, twin loggia windows; the vaults of the stairs are decorated with arches with sculptures of queens and kings of the 15th and 16th centuries.
Later, the castle passed into the hands of the aristocratic families Kosey de Honor, Saint Jelly de Lusignan and de Vase. In 1603, a chapel was built, which served as a family crypt for the constantly changing owners of the castle. In the 17th century, French kings of France sometimes visited Azay-le-Rideau: in 1619, Saint Jelly was received here by Louis XIII; Louis XIV probably visited here in 1650.
In 1845, work was undertaken to restore and reconstruct the castle. After the defeat of the French army in 1871, the castle was captured by the Prussian troops; Prince Frederick-Karl of Prussia and his headquarters stayed there in the winter of the same year.
After a while, the castle was sold to the state. After that, they finally began to restore it, and the surrounding park was brought back to its original form. At the same time, the Renaissance Museum was equipped in the premises of the castle with unique exhibits: a four-poster bed that belonged to Marshal Pierre Fillet de la Bar; chest from the chambers of Francis I; other household items. There is also a collection of tapestries, which includes: a panel of the 16th century"Three Parks", a panel of the 17th century on biblical and mythological themes. Of course, the Renaissance Museum exhibits portraits of French kings and their families.
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Topic: Azay-le-Rideau castle in France, Loire Valley resort.