Essential Architecture-  Loire Valley Châteaux

Château de Talcy

architect

Bernardo Salviati

location

Loire Valley, north-western France.

date

1520

style

French Renaissance (more Gothic in its vernacular feeling that might be expected in a structure built for an Italian patron at the height of the Renaissance)

construction

Stone

type

Palace
 
  Château de Talcy: in the court
 
  Vegetable garden at Talcy
 
   
The Château de Talcy lies on the left bank of the Loire River, in the Loire Valley, famous for its 16th-century châteaux. It was commissioned toward 1520 by Bernardo Salviati, a Florentine banker with connections to the Medici family. The château, which is imbedded in the village to one side, where the village church forms one side of the courtyard, is more Gothic in its vernacular feeling that might be expected in a structure built for an Italian patron at the height of the Renaissance.

The estate is better known in literary rather than architectural history. Salviati's daughter and granddaughter, Cassandre and Diane, were the muses of two leading French poets of the time, Pierre de Ronsard and Théodore-Agrippa d'Aubigné, respectively. Ronsard fell in love with the 15-year-old Cassandre in 1552, during his stay at Talcy. He dedicated to her some of the best known sonnets in the French language. D'Aubigné, a neighbour of the Salviati, composed for Diane in 1571 the collection of sonnets, ballads, and idylls entitled Le Printemps and at her death the finest of his poems, Les Tragiques.

Among the outbuildings preserved from the 16th century are a presshouse and a dovecot; there is also a traditional vegetable garden. In the château is the "chambre de la Médicis" where Catherine de' Medici and her son Charles IX are said to have planned the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew's Day during the "conference of Talcy" 28 and 29 June 1572.

The Salviati retained the ownership of the estate until 1682. Henceforth it passed through a succession of owners, including Philipp Albert Stapfer. In 1932 it was sold to the state, on condition that the 18th-century interiors would be preserved intact. The château is visited by 20,000 tourists annually.


links

Talcy: historique (French)
www.paris-architecture.info