Franz I. (France)

François I.
François I.

Franz I. frz. François I it le Roi Chevalier (* 12. September 1494 in Cognac, † 31. March 1547 in Rambouillet), was crowned 1515 in the cathedral from Reims to the king of France and governed up to its death1547. He was buried with his first Mrs. Claude de France, Duchesse (duchess) de Brittany, in the Basilika Saint Denis with Paris.

Table of contents

historical data

it belonged to the dynasty of the Valois and is the only son of Charles d'Orléans (1459 - 1. January 1496), count von Angoulême and of Luise of Savoyen (11. September 1476 - 22. September 1531).

Franz I.attained after the victory over Swiss with Marignano in the year 1515 the duchy Milan. Later it closed one year with Pope Leo X. a concordat. His resolution, German emperor to become, remained 1519 unfulfilled. Thereupon it looked for a decision on martial way tooforce. In the battle against emperors Karl V. it turned out to 24. February 1525 with Pavia in shank and was held from the Spaniards to 1526. In the era of the reformation was Franz I. a rock against their propagation in the own country. This prevented ithowever not to stand for Protestant princes in the holy Roman realm of German nation to the side. In peacetime of Crépy he did after four wars without result 1544 Milan (like before the Reichslehen remained), the moreover without the Kingdom of Neapel belonging to Spain.

Art and culture

Franz I. is considered as the first French king the Renaissance. During its rule it comes to an important development of the arts into France. With its start 1515 it is considered as a human educated king. This meets however only with restrictionsit is however more than everyone its predecessor for the new thoughts sensitized, which were important above all to his latin teacher Desmoulins and its nut/mother. Its both predecessors Karl VIII. and Ludwig XII.much time in Italy, it them however did not succeed, those spentnew culture and art currents, developed there to France to bring. They created however the bases for the later Erblühen of the Renaissance in France. Franz I. numerous orders and lets artist assigns to France get, among other things also to Andrea del Sarto and Leonardo thereVinci. Leonardo da Vinci will remain up to his death in France. Over agents the king lets buy up many works of Italian artists such as Michelangelo , Tizian and Raffael and puts so the actual basic stick of the royal painting collection today in the Louvre is issued. Itsmost important building project is the extension of the lock Fontainebleau near Paris, which becomes soon its most popular place of residence. It let the lock Chambord build and created among other things also the still existing Collège de France in Paris under the name Collège trois of the Langues(School of the three languages), first latin, Greek and Hebrew were informed there there.


François I. zu Pferde
François I. to horses

home policy

Franz I. is considered as the founders of the French absolutism, by advancing the centralization of power in Paris andthe power of the last Kronvasallen breaks. Also the creation and bundling of new financial establishment ions stand in this politics. Franz creates outdated privileges off and jumps over themselves over others, in order to strengthen its direct control of the kingdom.

Its continued wars particularly against Italy andits numerous building projects load the treasury and in the consequence the taxes are increased. It doubles the tax for farmer (waist) and trebles the salt duty (giveal).

To 15. August 1539 issues the king the regulation (Ordonnance) of Villers Cotterêts, alsothat the French latin as Kanzleisprache replaces. Since that time the French is office language in France. The substantial development of the bureaucracy is to be called likewise.

In the church politics it closed 1516 with the Pope the concordat of Bologna, whereby the French crown nearly unlimited controlover the own church and their possession gets. Thus a national church dependent on the king is finally established. With the reformation it supported the German Protestanten for political reasons, fought the reformation however in the own country.

foreign policy

with the power start Franz I. was Francethat militarily and politically strongest state of Europe. Franz led an aggressive foreign policy with the goal Milan to conquer and so the sovereignty across north Italy to win. Proverbial ‚habsburgische clasping' existed because of unsatisfactory unanimity the splinter Countries not yet. Against the legend feltFranz I. thus by these does not threaten, but on the contrary, he looked for emperors Karl V. as a power competitor in Italy to overwhelm and attacked this therefore offensively. In order to strengthen its position of power further, it led several wars against the emperor.

1. French habsburgischer war (1521-1526):

Alliance alsothe Pope. France occupies north Italy. In the battle of Pavia 1525 Franz turns out for Franz by personal over courage into imperial shank after conclusion of the peace of Madrid is released. In Paris he recalls the contract, since he acted under obligation, which leads to the renewed war.

2.French habsburgischer war (1526-1529):

Offensive alliance with Venice, Florenz and Papst against the Spaniards (league of Cognac). Plundering of Rome by imperial troops (Sacco di Roma 6. May 1527). Militarily little crucial victories on both sides. 1529 can induce Franz the Turks to march on Vienna over soto attain free hand in Italy. After both are strongly exhausted side, the lady peace is closed by Cambrai. The status quo is confirmed. Karl V. Milan keeps.

3. French habsburgischer war (1536-1538):

Friendship treaty with the Turks. Futile invasion of Karl V. into Provence. Whereupon futile frz. Invasioninto the Spanish the Netherlands. France annektiert Savoyen and Piemont.

4. French habsburgischer war (1542-1544):

Offensive alliance with the Turks against the emperor. Karl V. and Heinrich VIII.from England begin invasion of France. Karl marched on Paris, is crucially weakened however with Saint Dizier. In peacetime from Crépy becomethe old peace treaties with the emperor confirms. Frz. Invasion attempt of England. Heinrich takes Boulogne. Contract of Ardres with England: Boulogne becomes against 2 millions Gold valleys returned.

Franz. I dies during the preparation of a renewed invasion of the Netherlands and Spain. The French habsburgische contrast becomes during itsRule born. Its offensive wars have no political disadvantages for France, are however in the long run without the desired result, i.e. Milan as frz. To acquire province. With its death Savoyen and Piemont (thus large parts of north Italy) are frz. occupied, these are to be converted into provinces. It sendsTo investigate Cartier around North America. This reaches the sinking Lorenz stream and puts the foundation-stone for the new France colonies.


legitimate descendants

Grabmal in der Basilika Saint-Denis
tomb in the Basilika Saint Denis


  • Castelot, André: François Ier, Paris1984.
  • Guerdan, René: Franz I., king of the Renaissance, Frankfurt 1978.
  • Hit, Gerd: Franz I. of France, ruler and Mäzen, Regensburg 1993.

Web on the left of

Ludwig XII.
List of the rulers of France successor
Heinrich II.


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