French architecture From the 8th to early 19th centuries, French architects depended on royal patronage, although the 10th-century Benedictine abbey at Cluny had an influence on church architecture. During the 11th and 12th centuries, cathedrals in the Romanesque style were constructed. In the 13th century, Gothic cathedrals, such as Chartres and Notre-Dame, were built. From 1494 the influence of Italian Renaissance architecture grew, inspiring kings such as Francis I and Henry IV to commission magnificent palaces, including Fontainebleau and the Louvre. Royal influence climaxed in the 17th century with Louis XIV's palace at Versailles. In the mid-18th century, official architecture turned to neo-classicism, introducing designs based on the Doric order. In the 19th century, patronage shifted from the court to the bourgeoisie. Baron George-Eugène Haussman designed the wide boulevards of Paris, and between 1850 and 1870, mansard roofs and pavilions marked a Renaissance revival. The skeletal frame of the Eiffel Tower (1889) heralded modernism. Art nouveau faded quickly. In the 1920s and 1930s, Bauhaus had a large influence, and the Domino frame buildings of Le Corbusier spearheaded the International style. French architects took an active role in the Congrès Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne (CIAM), which created a forum for serious discussions from 1928.
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