Valois Dynasty and Hundred Year's War

History of France between 1329 - 1453

Valois Dynasty, the royal house of France from 1328 to 1589, ruled the nation from the end of the feudal period into the early modern age. The Valois kings continued the work of unifying France and centralizing royal power begun under their predecessors, the Capetian dynasty. The House of Valois was a branch of the Capetian family, for it was descended from Charles of Valois, whose Capetian father, King Philip III, awarded him the county of Valois in 1285. Charles’s son and successor, Philip, count of Valois, became king of France as Philip VI in 1328, and thus began the Valois dynasty.

Crécy - Grandes Chroniques de France
Battle of Crécy, 1346.

The early kings of the Valois dynasty were occupied primarily with fighting the Hundred Years’ War (1337–1453), which broke out under Philip VI (reigned 1328–50). During this period the monarchy was threatened both by the English, who at times controlled much of France, and by the revived strength of feudal lords, such as the Armagnac and Burgundian factions, which challenged the supremacy of the kings. The Hundred Years’ War was a series of armed conflicts between England and France and originated from disputed claims to the French throne between the English royal House of Plantagenet and the French royal House of Valois. Over time, the war grew into a broader power struggle involving factions from across Western Europe, fueled by emerging nationalism on both sides. The war was one of the most notable conflicts of the Middle Ages. For 116 years, interrupted by several truces, five generations of kings from two rival dynasties fought for the throne of the largest kingdom in Western Europe. The war’s effect on European history was lasting. Both sides produced innovations in military technology, and tactics, such as professional standing armies and artillery, that permanently changed warfare in Europe; chivalry, which had reached its height during the conflict, subsequently declined. Stronger national identities took root in both countries, which became more centralised and gradually rose as global powers.

The term "Hundred Years’ War" was adopted by later historians as a historiographical periodisation to encompass related conflicts, constructing the longest military conflict in European history. The war is commonly divided into three phases separated by truces: the Edwardian War (1337–1360), the Caroline War (1369–1389), and the Lancastrian War (1415–1453). Each side drew many allies into the conflict, with English forces initially prevailing; the House of Valois ultimately retained control over France, with the previously-intertwined French and English monarchies thereafter remaining separate. The crown’s exclusive right to levy taxes and to wage war was also established and many of the basic administrative institutions that had begun to develop under the Capetians continued to evolve under the Valois. For example, the Parlements (courts) were extended throughout France to dispense royal justice.

Reference: Britannica, Wikipedia

Popular sites founded between 1329 and 1453 in France

Kammerzell House

The Kammerzell House is one of the most famous buildings of Strasbourg and one of the most ornate and well preserved medieval civil housing buildings in late Gothic architecture in the areas formerly belonging to the Holy Roman Empire. Built in 1427 but twice transformed in 1467 and 1589, the building as it is now historically belongs to the German Renaissance but is stylistically still attached to the Rhineland black an ...
Founded: 1427 | Location: Strasbourg, France

Cordeliers Cloister

The Cordeliers cloister is situated at the heart of the medieval town of Saint-Emilion in the Gironde area. It is one of the town’s most emblematic and picturesque sites, containing a monolithic church. A listed Historical Monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it also has underground cellars where sparkling wines are produced. The cloister gets its name from its first ever occupants, the Cordeliers, Franciscan fri ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Saint-Émilion, France

Village of Èze

Èze has been described as an “eagle"s nest” because of its location overlooking a high cliff. The earliest occurrence of the name 'Èze' can be found in the maritime books of Antonin as a bay called the St. Laurent of Èze. A hoard of ancient Greek silver phialae dating from the 3rd Century BC was found in Èze in the late nineteenth century. The area was subsequently occupied by not only the Romans b ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Èze, France

Saint-Nicholas-des-Champs Church

The Church of Saint Nicolas des Champs was once part of the powerful Abbey of Saint Martin des Champs. The abbey was founded as a daughter house of the Benedictine monastery of Cluny in 1067. It was incorporated into the city in the 14th century when it was enclosed by the new city wall constructed under the management of the Prefect of Paris, Etienne Marcel. The church of Saint Nicolas des Champs was begun in 1420 and en ...
Founded: 1420 | Location: Paris, France

Château de Saint-Malo

Château de Saint-Malo was built between 1424 and 1690, first by Jean V, the Duke of Brittany. The Duke Francois II built the first tower in 1475. In 1590 during the Wars of Religion the castle was occupied by local people, who wanted to prevent local governor to gave the city to Protestant king Henry IV. The château was modified in the 17th century according the design of famous fortress architect Sebastian V ...
Founded: 1424 | Location: Saint-Malo, France

Sainte-Chapelle de Vincennes

The Sainte-Chapelle de Vincennes is a Gothic chapel within the fortifications of the château de Vincennes. It was founded in 1379 by Charles V of France to house relics of the passion of Christ. Its design by Raymond du Temple and Pierre de Montereau was based on that of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, although the version at Vincennes only had a single level (20m high) compared to the two levels of the Paris version. On ...
Founded: 1379 | Location: Vincennes, France

Château de Vincennes

The Château de Vincennes is a massive 14th and 17th century French royal castle in the town of Vincennes in a suburb of Paris metropolis. Like other more famous châteaux it had its origins in a hunting lodge, constructed for Louis VII about 1150 in the forest of Vincennes. In the 13th century, Philip Augustus and Louis IX erected a more substantial manor: Louis IX is reputed to have departed from Vincennes on ...
Founded: 1340-1410 | Location: Vincennes, France

Saint-Paul-de-Vence Village

One of the oldest medieval towns on the French Riviera, Haut-de-Cagnes is well known for its modern and contemporary art museums and galleries such as Fondation Maeght which is located nearby. The village is located just 15 minutes’ drive from the coastline on top of a large mound known as the Plateau du Puy, on top of which a Roman oppidum was built, followed by a medieval castle, which was then known as the cast ...
Founded: Middle Ages | Location: Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France

Porte Saint-Pierre

Porte Saint-Pierre is the best preserved remnant of the former battlements of the medieval city. It was originally built already in the Gallo-Roman times (3th century AD), but the current tower dates from the 15th century.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Nantes, France

Nantes Cathedral

The construction of Nantes Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul (Cathédrale Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul de Nantes) began in 1434 on the site of a Romanesque cathedral and took 457 years to finish, finally reaching completion in 1891. The cathedral"s foundation stone was laid on 14 April 1434, by John VI, Duke of Brittany and Jean de Malestroit, Bishop of Nantes (1417-1443). The first architect in charge was Guil ...
Founded: 1434 | Location: Nantes, France

Donjon Lacataye

The Donjon Lacataye is the keep of a 14th-century castle, constructed by order of Gaston Phébus in the commune of Mont-de-Marsan.  La Cataye consists of two joined Romanesque houses, which one sees perfectly while entering the current museum whose central internal wall includes Romanesque windows, a sign that one of the two houses was built before the second. These houses belonged to the Viscount"s family ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Mont-de-Marsan, France

Basilica of St. Michael

The Basilica of St Michael was built between the end of 14th century and the 16th century. It is at the heart of the ancient quarter of Saint-Michel. The pulpit represents Saint Michael slaying the dragon. The stained-glass windows were destroyed during the bombardment of 1940. The separate bell tower, which is 114 meters tall, was built in the 15th century. The tower can be visited every day from April to October. Fr ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Bordeaux, France

Saint-Tropez Towers

As a result of being a coastal town and needing to protect itself from attack, St Tropez became well-fortified early on in its history. You can now visit three towers scattered across the city"s coastline. Originally, four towers were built to protect the coast and the port: Tour du Portalet, Tour la Vieille, Tour de Suffren, now lost, and the Tour Jarlier.  The Tour du Portalet and the Tour la Vieille, or Old Tower ...
Founded: 1565 | Location: Saint-Tropez, France

Château de Pierrefonds

The Château de Pierrefonds includes most of the characteristics of defensive military architecture from the Middle Ages, though it underwent a major restoration in the 19th century. In the 12th century, a castle was built on this site. Two centuries later, in 1392, King Charles VI turned the County of Valois (of which Pierrefonds was part) into a Duchy and gave it to his brother Louis, Duke of Orléans. From 1 ...
Founded: 1393 | Location: Pierrefonds, France

Église Saint-Pierre

After the Roman town of Burdigala (current Bordeaux) ceased to exist, the inhabitants moved away from the river, and the new city centre became what is now the Saint-Pierre district. The first church was built on the premises of the former port in the Middle Ages.  The current church dates from the 14th and 15th centuries and was built on the site of ancient Gallo-Roman port. The Flamboyant style appearance survived from ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Bordeaux, France

Yvoire Medieval Town

Located on the French shore of Lake Geneva, between Geneva and Evian, the village of Yvoire is nicknamed the “gem of the lake”. The town is well known for its medieval buildings and summer floral displays, as well as the Jardin des Cinq Sens, a garden in the center of the town. It called one of the 'most beautiful villages of France'. Many buildings date from the early 14th century.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Yvoire, France

Church of Saint-Maclou

The Church of Saint-Maclou is considered one of the best examples of the Flamboyant style of Gothic architecture in France. Saint-Maclou, along with Rouen Cathedral, the Palais de Justice (also Flamboyant), and the Church of St. Ouen, form a famous ensemble of significant Gothic buildings in Rouen. The Construction on Saint-Maclou began sometime after 1432; it was to replace an existing parish church that had suffered fr ...
Founded: c. 1432 | Location: Rouen, France

Saint-Nizier Church

The Church of Saint-Nizier name refers to Nicetius of Lyon, a bishop of the city during the 6th century. The first religious building on the site of the present church was a Roman monument, perhaps a temple of Attis, whose worship was probably the cause of the Christian persecution in Lyon from 177. In the 5th century, according to tradition, Eucherius of Lyon, 19th bishop of Lyon, built on the ruins of the building a bas ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Lyon, France

Château d'Usse

The Château d'Ussé stronghold at the edge of the Chinon forest overlooking the Indre Valley was first fortified in the 11th century by the Norman seigneur of Ussé, Gueldin de Saumur, who surrounded the fort with a palisade on a high terrace. The site passed to the Comte de Blois, who rebuilt in stone. In the 15th century, the ruined castle of Ussé was purchased by Jean V de Bueil, a captain-general of Charles VII who ...
Founded: 1440s | Location: Rigny-Ussé, France

Montpellier Cathedral

Montpellier Cathedral was originally attached to the monastery of Saint-Benoît, which was founded in 1364. The building was elevated to the status of cathedral in 1536, when the see of Maguelonne was transferred to Montpellier. After the building suffered extensive damage during the Wars of Religion between Catholics and Protestants in the 16th century, it was rebuilt in the 17th century.
Founded: 1364 | Location: Montpellier, France

St. Nicholas Church

Saint Nicholas Church is a small Gothic church where Jean Calvin led services and preached in 1538. The Church no longer functions as a parish church, today it is used by a Charismatic group called 'Renouveau Saint Nicholas'. The church was built between 1387 and 1454 on the site of an earlier church dedicated to Mary Magdalene. This earlier church, which dated from 1182, was founded by the Knight Walther Spend ...
Founded: 1387-1454 | Location: Strasbourg, France

Saint-Brieuc Cathedral

Saint-Brieuc Cathedral was the seat of the Bishopric of Saint-Brieuc, one of the nine ancient dioceses of Brittany, and continues to be the seat of the enlarged Bishopric of Saint-Brieuc-Tréguier, as it has been known since 1852. Some of the relics of Saint Brieuc himself, the 6th-century founder, are still kept in the cathedral. The present building however was built in the 14th and 15th centuries.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Saint-Brieuc, France

Fort-la-Latte

Fort-la-Latte or Castle of La Latte was built on a small piece of land at the Baie de la Fresnaye in the 14th century. In 1379 it was conquered by Bertrand du Guesclin. It was besieged by the English in 1490 and by the holy League in 1597. Garangeau under the reign of Louis XIV turned the castle into a fortress, using Vauban"s building plans. They used canon batteries, stationed in Fort La Latte, to defend Saint-Malo ...
Founded: 1340 | Location: Plévenon, France

Cimiez Monastery

Cimiez Monastery and church that have been used by the Franciscan monks since the 1546. The church houses the Pietà, Crucifixion and Deposition, by the Italian medieval artist Ludovico Brea. On display are also more than 300 documents and works of art from the 15th to 18th centuries. Buried in the cemetery near the monastery are the painters Henri Matisse and Raoul Dufy as well as the winner of the 1937 Nobel ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Nice, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

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Late Baroque Town of Ragusa

The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.