- Home ›
- Architectural Lantern Slides›
- Architectural Lantern Slides of France›
- Château of Azay-le-Rideau ›
Château of Azay-le-Rideau: Overall view of the entry courtyard with escalier d’honneur at center
Built by an unknown architect for Gilles Berthelot (died 1529), a financier from Tours in the service of Francis I. The stone château, surrounded on three sides by the River Indre, has an L-shaped plan under steep slate roofs. In 1528 the château was confiscated by the King. This effectively put an end to the building programme, leaving unfinished two of the four wings. In 1845 the medieval keep was rebuilt as a circular tower in Renaissance style, terminating the east wing, and a corbelled circular corner turret was added at the end of the south wing over the moat, to balance the turret built in the 16th century. The main decorative feature is the escalier d'honneur in the centre of the south wing. This is signalled externally by a virtuosic four-storey frontispiece with alternating pairs of superimposed round-headed and basket arches forming the entrance and the lighting to the landings. It terminates in a carved gable with all'antica candelabra and other Renaissance ornaments.