Katherine Briçonnet

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The Chenonceau tower completed under Katherine Briçonnet

Katherine Briçonnet (ca. 1494–1526) was a French noblewoman, daughter of Guillaume Briçonnet and wife of Thomas Bohier [fr].

She was influential in designing the Château de Chenonceau. Her husband had purchased the site which contained the ruins of an earlier fortress as he wished to build a Renaissance château there. It was Katherine who supervised the construction work between 1513 and 1521, taking important architectural decisions while her husband was away fighting in the Italian wars.[1] In particular, she oversaw the construction of the practically designed staircase which proceeds straight upwards rather than in a spiral as was usual at the time.[2] In 1524, shortly after the building had been completed, Thomas Bohier died. Katherine died two years later. The initials TBH (Thomas Bohier and Katherine) can still be seen as well as a motto carved on the door: "S'il vient à point, me souviendra (If I manage to build Chenonceau, I will be remembered).[3] The original part of the château completed under Katherine Briçonnet is known as the Château des Dames as it was later extended by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médicis.[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ M. E. Aubry-Vitet, "Chenonceau", in Revue des deux mondes, no 69 (1867), p.855. (in French)
  2. ^ "Le Château de Chenonceau" Archived 2012-01-22 at the Wayback Machine, 37 online. (in French) Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  3. ^ "Le château de Chenonceau", Les Francofiles. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  4. ^ "Presentation", Chenonceau. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Château de Chenonceau", La vallée de la Loire et ses châteaux. (in French) Retrieved 4 March 2012.