This is a more unified post than many of the others I've done. I other words, it's five photos of the same subject: French king Henri IV on horseback at the western tip of the Ile de la Cité in the center of Paris.
Henri IV was king in during the two decades that surrounded the turn of the 17th century. He was the Protestant who said that Paris was "well worth a mass" — in other words, he was willing to become Catholic in order to become king. In fact, he had been baptized as a Catholic as a child and switched his religious affiliation several times over the decades.
However that may have been, Henri signed the Edict of Nantes, giving Protestants political and religious rights in France, bringing relative peace to the country after decades of wars of religion in the 16th century. To say that he was a controversial figure would be an understatement.
Henri IV was also the king who said he wanted every one of his subjects to be able to have "a chicken in the pot" — une poule au pot — at dinnertime every Sunday. He was much loved — more posthumously, I think, than during his 20 years as king — and his legend grew as he came to be known as le bon roi Henri in succeeding centuries.
In 1610, Henri IV was assassinated, stabbed by a madman — a Catholic fanatic, they say — in the middle of Paris, near Les Halles. Obviously, radical Catholics didn't love him. There were many assassination plots and attempts until at last one succeeded.
Henri's nickname was « le Vert-Galant ». He had 73 "official" mistresses, they say, and fathered 22 children. Vert in this sense means "racy" or "risqué"; a galant is a man who loves to seduce women. The park as the western tip of the Ile de la Cité is called Le Square du Vert-Galant.
How did he find the time to do any kinging?ReplyDelete
Loved all the photos Ken, but especially liked the last one with the cloud formations in the background that look like a painted sky.ReplyDelete
i wondered about the vert galante thing, thxReplyDelete
This post taught me some history. Things were complicated in 1600s, but Henri IV managed to have an interesting life before he was killed. I never realized that the Square was named for him- I like his spirit of compromise.ReplyDelete
What Evelyn said: ditto *LOL*ReplyDelete
Also-- have you seen the film, LA REINE MARGOT? I'm thinking that this is the roi whom she was forced to marry. I find this period in French monarchy history particularly confusing to teach-- so many changes and non-direct lines!
If I recall his Mother-in-law was Catherine de Medici - not a very nice woman. His marriage to her daughter resulted in the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. I just finished reading Paris by Edward Rutherfurd. It is a great historical fiction about Paris from the 1300 to the present. It put a lot of history into perspective for me. I appreciate all of your beautiful photos.ReplyDelete
Another interesting French lesson!ReplyDelete
Interesting, thanks. I knew he converted to Catholicism to take the throne, but what I didn't realise was that he'd changed his religion a number of times.ReplyDelete
Yay, If your Mother-in-law said embrace the Catholic religion or you will lose your head, I guess you would agree. So glad we live in better times.ReplyDelete