16 September 2011

The grand staircase at Carrouges

One of the most distinctive features of the Château de Carrouges is its all-brick grand staircase — « l'escalier
d'honneur
». It was built in 1579 by a local architect, François Gabriel. Construction of the château itself started in the 1400s, after the end of the 100 Years War between France and England. Like most old buildings, it was added to and modified over the centuries.



The brickwork of the monumental grand staircase was at one time plastered over and painted. It was stripped of such decoration during restoration work in the 1960s so that its structure would be revealed.



Carrouges probably changed less than some other châteaux, because the same family — their name was Le Veneur de Tillières — owned and occupied it from the late 1500s until 1936, when it was acquired by the French government. Even during the French Revolution in the late 1700s it was spared the destruction and degradation suffered by many other monuments of the Old Regime because its owner at the time advocated putting an end to aristocratic privilege.

12 comments:

Jean said...

What glorious photos!
I love the curves and colours of the brickwork. Beautiful!

Carolyn said...

I know I'm up early when I have to wait for my favorite bloggers to post!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Very Escher like! Great photos, Ken.

BettyAnn

Andrew said...

What beautiful brickwork. While maybe the camera is lying a bit, I have never seen such blue bricks.

Seine Judeet said...

Amazing! Beautiful architecture, amazing design, but also great photography, Ken :)

Tim said...

That is one superb staircase... there definately is a touch of M C Escher about it, too!
Great thought to publish these, thanks.

WV is appropriate too... [my space in the word].... "hy lowns"

Ken Broadhurst said...

Andrew, remember that the weather outside was becoming stormy, with big "black" clouds overhead. Those clouds probably created the blue cast you see in the pictures. The bricks themselves are roses — pink — and noires — black.

The Beaver said...

One word: WOW!!!! and a big smile

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Such beautiful photos. I think you must have captured the essence of this place. What is it about brick arches that is so appealing. I love the arched walks around old enclosed gardens, and I love this staircase!

Starman said...

I can't quite figure out if the first picture is looking up or down. It's an interesting abstract view.

Mary said...

Now I really don't like the stairs in my house... Those are ones to be admired!

Thanks for your wonderful eyes and photography.

Mary in Oregon

Peter said...

Marvelous! This is real craftmanship!