Orleans and the Renaissance
Experience Renaissance life in Orleans!
An intellectual movement started in Italy in the Quattrocento (15th century), the Renaissance spread far and wide, arriving in France, and the Loire Valley more specifically, in the early 16th century.
ORLEANS, A RENAISSANCE CITY
A former royal city, Orleans was at that time a vibrant and prosperous place owing to its position on the Loire and close proximity to Paris.
It had a well-respected university attended by eminent intellectuals including Erasmus, Guillaume Budé, Rabelais, La Boétie, Théodore de Bèze and Calvin.
The city experienced a sweeping artistic revival, inspired by the Italian art of living that Francis I and others introduced.
Religious buildings were constructed, streets widened, and the wealthy middle classes commissioned large estates. Today, we can still admire their elegant architecture and refined, Italianate decoration, sculpted medallions and busts, as well as half-timbered façades combining stone and brickwork.
Hôtel Groslot, Hôtel Cabu, Hôtel des Créneaux, Maison de la Coquille, half-timbered houses... Orleans has a remarkable collection of original Renaissance monuments and buildings.
RENAISSANCE GIFT COLLECTION AT THE TOURIST INFORMATION OFFICE
The Tourist Information Office gift shop is stocking a range of Renaissance-inspired products and souvenirs. Posters, children’s history books, Leonardo da Vinci magnets, postcards and keyrings as well as Leonardo da Vinci... A host of items await!
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