The donjon, enceinte and watchtowers of Chateau Vincennes. Vincennes, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean

The donjon, enceinte and watchtowers of Chateau Vincennes. Vincennes, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean

Sainte-Chapelle and the royal Pavilion, Chateau Vincennes. Vincennes, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean

Sainte-Chapelle and the royal Pavilion, Chateau Vincennes. Vincennes, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean

Sainte-Chapelle, Chateau Vincennes. Vincennes, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean

Sainte-Chapelle, Chateau Vincennes. Vincennes, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean

A symbol of fire and cold, the salamander was François I chosen symbol. This animal could live in the fire without being consumed, but it could also extinguish the fire due to the exceptional coldness of its body. In medieval iconography the salamander represents “the just who never loses God’s confidence in the middle of tribulations.” François I adapted this motto for himself: “I live among it and extinguish it”.
Sainte-Chapelle, Chateau Vincennes. Vincennes, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean

A symbol of fire and cold, the salamander was François I chosen symbol. This animal could live in the fire without being consumed, but it could also extinguish the fire due to the exceptional coldness of its body. In medieval iconography the salamander represents “the just who never loses God’s confidence in the middle of tribulations.” François I adapted this motto for himself: “I live among it and extinguish it”.

Sainte-Chapelle, Chateau Vincennes. Vincennes, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean

Ceiling detail of Sainte-Chapelle, Chateau Vincennes. The interlocking HK represent Henry II and his wife, Queen Catherine de’ Medici. Vincennes, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean

Ceiling detail of Sainte-Chapelle, Chateau Vincennes. The interlocking HK represent Henry II and his wife, Queen Catherine de’ Medici. Vincennes, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean

Founded in 1379, by Charles V, the gorgeous gothic interior of Sainte-Chapelle, Chateau Vincennes. Vincennes, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean

Founded in 1379, by Charles V, the gorgeous gothic interior of Sainte-Chapelle, Chateau Vincennes. Vincennes, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean

Chateau Vincennes as viewed from atop the donjon. Vincennes, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean

Chateau Vincennes as viewed from atop the donjon. Vincennes, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean

Paris as viewed from atop the donjon, the highest medieval fortified structure in Europe. Chateau Vincennes. Vincennes, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean

Paris as viewed from atop the donjon, the highest medieval fortified structure in Europe. Chateau Vincennes. Vincennes, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean

Paris as viewed from atop the donjon, the highest medieval fortified structure in Europe. Chateau Vincennes. Vincennes, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean

Paris as viewed from atop the donjon, the highest medieval fortified structure in Europe. Chateau Vincennes. Vincennes, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean

Paris as viewed from atop the donjon, the highest medieval fortified structure in Europe. Chateau Vincennes. Vincennes, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean

Paris as viewed from atop the donjon, the highest medieval fortified structure in Europe. Chateau Vincennes. Vincennes, France. Photo by Amber Maitrejean