Sunday, July 31, 2011

Camelot - Pierrefonds Castle

Picture from gallery

picture from

Camelot first appeared in 12th-century French romances. The castle is mentioned for the first time in Chrétien de Troyes' poem Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, dating to the 1170s.  Camelot eventually came to be described as the fantastic capital of Arthur's realm and a symbol of the Arthurian world. The stories locate it somewhere in Britain and sometimes associate it with real cities, though more usually its precise location is not revealed. The image of Camelot has been recreated time and again throughout the ages, most recently through the BBC series Merlin.  It is fitting that since the idea of Camelot was originally born in France, that the #Merlin set of Camelot is filmed at Pierrefonds castle in France. 

The Château de Pierrefonds castle in France includes most of the characteristics of defensive military architecture from the Middle Ages, though it underwent a major restoration in the 19th century. . .  Originally built in the 12th century. In 1392, king Charles VI  gave it to his brother Louis, Duke of Orléans (from 1393-1407) who had it rebuilt by the court architect. . . March 1617, the castle was besieged and taken by troops sent by Richelieu. Its demolition was started, but not carried through to the end because of the enormity of the task. The exterior works were razed, the roofs destroyed and holes made in the towers and curtain walls. . . The castle remained a ruin for more than two centuries. Napoleon I bought it in 1810 for less than 3,000 francs. During the 19th century, with the rediscovery of the architectural heritage of the Middle Ages, it became a "romantic ruin": in August 1832, Louis-Philippe gave a banquet there on the occasion of the marriage of his. Among other artists, Corot depicted the ruins in several works between 1834 and 1866. The Château de Pierrefonds has been classified as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1848.
Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (later Napoleon III of France) he asked Viollet-le-Duc in 1857  to undertake its restoration to create an imperial residence, so the castle was to be entirely rebuilt. The works stopped in 1885. The departure of Napoléon III had halted the reconstruction and, through lack of money, the decoration of rooms was unfinished. Inside, Viollet-le-Duc produced more a work of invention than restoration. He imagined how the castle ought to have been, rather than basing his work on the strict history of the building. On the other hand, the exterior showed his excellent knowledge of the military architecture of the 14th century. The castle has often been used as a location for filming including les Visiteurs, and The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc. The castle also serves as Camelot for the BBC series Merlin.


The Chateau de Pierrefonds 1869 Pierre Justin Ouvrie

Violette-le-Duc's restoration project for Napolean: Pierrefonds.

Pierrefonds antique photo

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