28 November 2017

Montrésor (nº 6)

This is the south façade of what is called the logis at Montrésor, on high ground above the little Indrois River (a stream, really). The logis was built at the beginning of the period known as the French Renaissance, which covered the 16th century. Châteaux including Chambord, Chenonceau, and many others were being built (or improved, expanded, and otherwise modified) all over the Loire Valley. It's interesting to note that the weather in France during what became known as the Renaissance was much warmer than it had been over the two previous centuries. There must be a connection between these two facts.


The Robert-Collins bilingual dictionary translates logis as home, dwelling, or abode. The French term is obviously related to the English term lodgings or lodge. This one qualifies as a mansion, and it was built starting at the end of the 15th century (1490 or so) within the walls of the old medieval fortifications, which were falling into ruin at the time. Fortified châteaux were no longer needed, since the 100 Years War (1337-1453) between the French and the English nobility had ended. Wealthy people started building fine, more comfortable residences for themselves.


  1. I've learned so much over the years of teaching about châteaux -- doing research to be sure I'm presenting things correctly --, but I always learn new things from you, Ken.

    1. I don't know where it was that I was reading about climate highs and lows — climate change, autrement dit — the other day. According to evidence like tree rings, etc., there was a mini ice age in the 14th and 15th centuries, and then a "thaw" and much nicer weather during the 16th century. If that's true, it could help explain the French Renaissance and the attractiveness to the nobility of spending so much time in the Loire Valley. But this is just me talking. The weather turned cold again in the 17th century and continued cold in the 18th. It's hard to discount the importance of weather and climate in the course of history.


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?