LEMERCIER, Jacques
(b. ca. 1584, Pontoise, d. 1654, Paris)

Aerial view

begun 1631
Photo
Richelieu (Indre-et-Loire)

Lemercier was Richelieu's architect. He built two ensembles designed to immortalize Richelieu - a college and a town. The college was the Sorbonne, renovated beginning in 1626, with a monumental chapel. The new town, called Richelieu, was organized around a symmetrical château set on a square plot toward which the main roads converged. The town turned out to be a utopian error, yet one typical of the rational voluntarism of that "heroic" age.