<!–^~^42|left|Francois I^~^–>In the early 16th century, after a series of Italian wars, Francois I strengthened the French Crown and welcomed to France many Italian artists and designers such as Leonardo da Vinci. Their influence assured the success of the Renaissance style characterized by enlarged doors and windows, the great sophistications of the interiors.

<!–^~^43|right|da Vinci’s Mona Lisa^~^–>The Loire Valley Chateaus (Chambord) and Francois I’s Chateau of Fontainebleau are perfect examples of the Renaissance style, which combined defensive fortresses with luxurious palaces.


<!–^~^41|left|Diane de Poitier, Favorite of Henri II^~^–>Between 1562 and 1598, the increasse in the number of the Huguenots (Protestants) led to the Wars of Religion. Catherine de Medici ordered the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of hundreds of Protestants. In 1589, Henri IV, a target of the massacre, becomes the first Bourbon king of France and astutely converted to Catholism. He ended the Wars of Religion by enacting the Edict of Nantes, which guaranteed religious and political rights to the Huguenots.




Italian Wars: France and Austria fight over Italian territories

FranÁois I crowned King

Leonardo da Vinci dies in the arms of FranÁois I

The Wars of Religion: Catholics fight Protestants

Massacre of Protestants on St. Bartholomew’s eve in Paris

Henri IV becomes 1st Bourbon King and converts to Catholicism, ending Wars of Religion

Founding of Quebec

Also See:




Middle Ages

Grand SiËcle

Revolution Era

Napoleonic Era

19th Century

20th Century