The national estate of Chambord (France): traditional landscapes or a political willingness to make re-emerge the past?

Abstract : Chambord is first known for its castle dating from French Renaissance. But it is also a national estate of 5.400 ha, walled at the same period (1524). It is thus considered as a heritage, all the more since it was registered on the Unesco World Heritage list in 1981. In fact, the national estate of Chambord (NEC) is “worldwide considered to be a symbol of the French Renaissance” . But are its landscapes traditional ones? In particular, are they really inherited from Renaissance? We were interested in this field in the framework of a research program focused on this estate: our task was to identify the landscape dynamics and their anthropogenic factors (practices and politics). We founded our analysis on archives, literature, website and grey literature to know these factors and we mobilized engravings, maps and plans, aerial photograph to know the land use at different dates. The comparison in a GIS of the current land use with the older one we knew (17th century) reveals that the forest, main current land use, was much less vast in the past. The increase of its area results from a political willingness, a plantation program. Thus, the current landscape could be considered as traditional landscapes but dating from the 19th century, not from French Renaissance. At smaller scale, we can observe other marks of the past, which appear unchanged in the landscapes, concerning other land use: French formal gardens (18th century) and a vineyard (at least 19th century). But these land uses knew in fact some changes during the history: they disappeared. Their current resurgence has to be linked to the willingness to increase tourism frequenting of this historical site. The question of traditional landscapes implies the one of the date of these landscapes. In the NEC, the landscapes are composed by a diversity of inherited land uses, dating from different periods. The willingness to preserve or make re-emerge the landscapes of a given period depends on current stakes: it is actually promoting tourism of nature, nature closeness being considered as a way to improve the quality of life.
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Submitted on : Saturday, September 15, 2018 - 9:26:32 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, September 16, 2018 - 1:07:38 AM

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Amélie Robert, Sylvie Servain. The national estate of Chambord (France): traditional landscapes or a political willingness to make re-emerge the past?. Permanent European Conference for the Study of the Rural Landscape (PECSRL) 2018: European Landscapes for Quality of life?, « Territoires » (Agro Paris Tech, Clermont Auvergne University, INRA, IRSTEA, VetAgro Sup), Sep 2018, Clermont-Ferrand et Mende, France. ⟨halshs-01875014⟩

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