Landscaping - Portraits of the Loire in the Renaissance 1/6

Published on 09 July 2019 - Updated 16 September 2019

Based on original documents from the period, the web series “Portraits of the Loire in the Renaissance” delves into this period of history and chronicles the close relationship that has always existed between humans and the river Loire. Watch the first episode, which is about landscaping.

The Loire is capricious: it is subject to changeable flow rates, severe drops in water levels and catastrophic floods. Although nowadays it appears to have been brought under control, in the Renaissance period local residents had to contend with its changeable and difficult nature.  

In the 16th century, its levees already had a long history. They facilitated navigation, contained the most frequent floods and protected farmland. The Loire Valley became a managed landscape.  

Nevertheless, both the main course of the river and its shoreline could change at any time: the Loire has not been tamed. A number of devastating floods are fresh in the minds of local residents.  

A resource kit complementing the concepts covered by the videos and an enhanced iconography will be available from the beginning of September; these will provide more information on the river Loire during the Renaissance. 

Portraits de Loire à la Renaissance
Turones, vulgo, Tours, Le Jardin de France, Franz Hogenberg d'après Joris Hoefnagel, 1561, collection particulière


Culture Training and research Mission Val de Loire

Portraits of the Loire in the Renaissance