The castles that border the Loire River have the architectural particularity of having been for the most part, built or strongly altered in the 15th and 16th centuries, at a time when the court of the kings of France was settled in this region or its surroundings. We notice that all the castles are almost white. This is due to the chalk used in their construction, which gives the castles a luminous aspect and contrasts with the slate roofs. The castle of Ussé inspired Charles Perrault for his tale “Sleeping Beauty”. The castle of Chambord, associated with the reign of King François I, is the largest of the 3000 castles of the Loire. The castle of Chenonceau is nicknamed “the castle of the Ladies” because it was built, fitted out and transformed by women with very different temperaments. Finally, the castle of Nozet dominates a famous sauvignon blanc vineyard.
The whiteness of these castles is related to Wat Rong Khun, a temple located in the south of Chiang Rai, more commonly known as the White Temple. It was built by the artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. The whiteness here symbolizes the purity of Buddhism. The work is inlaid with pieces of mirror to suggest enlightenment. This temple is still under construction and not comparable to traditional Thai temples since it’s more a contemporary artistic creation.
Nicolas IORDACHE, Tle A