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Chateau Rideau from "Landmarks"
The chateau of Azay-le-Rideau was built from 1518 to 1527, one of the earliest French Renaissance chateaux. Built on an island in the Indre River, its foundations rise straight out of the water.
The long low proportions and the sculptural decorations of Azay are Italianate, in the new antique taste, but the bastion corners capped by pointed cones, the vertical stacks of grouped windows separated by emphatic horizontal string courses, and the high sloped slate roof are unmistakably French. The playful fortifications and the medieval donjon towers gave an air of traditional nobility to the king's newly-ennobled treasurer. The central staircase is the main feature a visitor meets with upon entering. It is embodied within the building, rather than rising helically, partly embedded in the wall and visible from outside in the French way, a feature that is familiar at the Chateau de Blois.
The sculptural details at Azay are particularly remarkable. On the ground floor, fluted pilasters on high bases support the salamander and the ermine, emblems of François I and Claude de France.
Original model made by Digimation Model Bank and uploaded for sale here with permission.