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A shining example of French Renaissance architecture, Château d’Azay-le-Rideau was built on an island on the Indre River during the reign of King Francis I. With a combination of French tradition and Italian décor, the castle has become a real emblem of a turning point in architecture during the 16th century.
Gilles Berthelot, adviser to King Louis XII and Treasurer of France, purchased the medieval fortress around 1510, promptly after which he demolished it to build the new château.
King Francis I later seized the château and offered it to Antoine Raffin, one of his loyal followers. In 1651, the Marquis de Vasse received the château by marriage, after which he embellished the residence and built the portal.
After the Revolution, the estate was purchased in 1791 by Charles de Biencourt, the Marquis de Biencourt. Biencourt’s family undertook major restorations during the 19th century, the result of which is the château as we know it today.
The State purchased the castle in 1905 and in 1914 it was classified as a monument historique.
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