Louis XI finally rehabilitated in his lands

However, with the exception of a few clichés and caricatured representations of his unsightly figure haunting costume films, we know almost nothing about this monarch. Worse, the rare facts that we take at face value are actually the result of a rewriting charge. The opportunity to reverse the trend was therefore too tempting for the Loire Valley, his bastion, where he spent half his life, to set about rectifying this calamitous image and finally paying a deserved tribute to this king. visionary and builder. In order to commemorate the 600th anniversary of his birth, the monuments closely linked to the sovereign thus offer a rich program of exhibitions, symposiums and cultural events elucidating the multiple facets of his reign. The most ambitious event of this thematic season is undoubtedly the exhibition presented at the Château d’Amboise, dedicated to the order of Saint-Michel. We must not let ourselves be intimidated by this subject, which might seem dry at first sight, because the commissioners have done a remarkable job of mediation. But above all because this event makes it possible to discover spectacular objects as well as some works that invite us to reconsider the political action and the unsuspected heritage of this character. Because the history of this prestigious decoration, invented to compete with the Garter of the English and the Flemish Golden Fleece, reveals the mysteries of power and the ambition of the king to build a powerful and modern kingdom. This order of chivalry was to ensure the loyalty of a circle of powerful believers and increase the influence of royal power, weakened during the Hundred Years War. Far from being a trinket, this decoration is thus one of the most striking symbols of the determination of Louis XI to enlarge the territory of the crown, and to create a strong State, which foreshadows in many aspects the France of Today.

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