Among the most famous of French monarchs are Henri II and his queen Catherine de Médicis.  They brought the Renaissance to its greatest heights in the middle of the sixteenth century.  The greatest part of the palace of the Louvre, which we will visit later today, is their work.  Henri II was a great and powerful king, but when he died in a jousting accident in 1559, the kingdom fell into civil war -- Protestants and Catholics, brother and cousin, would soon be at each other's throats.  Their three hapless sons would rule in a realm where violence spiraled toward total destruction.
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This page last updated on 5/30/2001 5:40:25 PM.