Sunday, January 8, 2017

France, Loire Valley - Château de Blois III (The Gaston of Orleans Classic Wing)

The Gaston of Orleans Classic Wing (1635-1638)
Brother of Louis XIII and heir to the throne, in 1634, Gaston d'Orleans decided to erect in Blois a totally new castle. 
His chosen architect was François Mansart, who built a main dwelling house 
that should have represented the first step to a large-scale, highly ambitious reconstruction project. 
However, the work was curtailed in 1638 by the birth of the future Louis XIV, 
whose arrival removed him from succession to the throne and deprived him of financing. 
Never fully completed, the dwelling house was built according to 17th-century taste, 
in a classical architecture style that prefigures Versailles: 
columns, pilasters, capitals and pediments pay tribute to antique Greek architecture. 
Inside, the most spectacular element of decor is the vault adorned with trophies and masks, and topped by a cupola.

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