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The Renaissance aesthetic

Cité épiscopale d’Albi

When Louis d’Amboise acceded to the Epsicopal throne the Berbie palace, with its walls crowned by the menacing teeth of the crenelations and defended by massive towers, resembled more a military camp than a house of leisure.

The artistic brilliance of the ’quattrocento,’ the future model for the French Renaissance, marked Louis d’Amboise profoundly. It would guide his artistic tastes when he became ’prince of Albi,’ upon the death of Cardinal Jouffroy shortly after Louis d’Amboise returned from a stay in Italy.

He was nostalgic for his early days spent in the gay and welcoming royal châteaux of the Loire, his native region.

The morose, military aspect of the Berbie palace was certainly not to his tastes. At the end of the 15th century he altered the eastern wing of the palace, installing there his banquet halls. Currently under refurbishment, we can today admire the beautiful 15th century fireplaces.

Louis d’Amboise put in place the curtain wall which runs along the current quai Choiseul and constructed a building reminiscent of the sharply sloped slate roofs and circular turrets found in the town of Amboise, thus breaking with the crenelations of the mediaeval era.

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