INTIMATELY LINKED TO THE FRENCH ARISTOCRACY
Cheminee is the modern French term for fireplace, although in past references it has also been defined as meaning a chimney or a fireplace surround.
Fireplaces have evolved over many centuries with one of the most significant changes made during the construction of the Chateau de Chambord for the French King Francis I. It was now the Renaissance period in France and Francis being a passionate patron of the arts, encouraged many Italian artists including the inventor, sculptor and painter Leonardo Da Vinci to visit during the early stages of the Chateau’s construction. The main building material was “Pierre de Chazelles” (stone of Chazelles), a fine quality golden stone, similar to high-density limestone mined in Chazelles.
Large stone-carved fireplaces featured in this chateau which were unlike any fireplaces present at this time. The Chazelles stone and artisans were quickly sought after across France, working in other provinces on many other fine chateaux. It is worth noting at this point, that some of the artisans who laboured on the Chateau were the ancestors of the present stone carvers of the fireplace surrounds, employed by Chazelles today.
The village of Chazelles is located in Charente, of the French region Poitou-Charentes, part of the Angouleme district, and is only 20 kms from another Chateau d’Angouleme, inherited by Francis I.
Francis was born near Cognac in 1494 and was Count of Angouleme. He decided to restore the Chateau d’Angouleme also using the Chazelles stone. Major building was undertaken over many years including extensions featuring the Renaissance influences of the time. Other French kings who were connected previously to the Chateau were Henri d’ Angouleme (Henri II) and Charles IX the Duc d’Angouleme.
Continuing during the reigns of french kings, Louis XIV, XV and XVI, in the middle 1600’s to late 1700, fireplace design continued to evolve. Elaborate carved marble and stone fireplace surrounds, and complementary mantle pieces were added and adorned with large mirrors. Others defined the chimneys with carvings from floor to ceiling.
CHAZELLES CHEMINEE – THE BEGINNING
Chazelles Cheminee was named after Chazelles, the place in which the company was established in the 1970s. The family business began with nine staff and now Chazelles employees 450 people working in its 20,000 square metre production plant covering 7 hectares of land.
Today, some of Chazelles’ high energy and environmental performance fireboxes are enhanced with carved stone fireplace surrounds derived from the same local Charente stone and carefully carved by Chazelle’s highly skilled tradesmen. A skill embraced by them just as their early ancestors who produced such high quality work on and in the Chateau d’Angouleme and many others. Their expertise admired by many who visit the Chateau today.
Chazelles is ranked as the number one French manufacturer of wood burning fireboxes. The factory utilises the latest technically advanced equipment. The quality of materials and Chazelles processes ensure that every fireplace manufactured is of the highest standard providing years of use and enjoyment for every customer throughout the world. Their range of different sizes with 1 to 3 doors accommodate the heating of large and small rooms and can be built in the centre or side wall position. Chazelles is the world’s first and number one slow combustion / open fireplace with a unique retractable glass door that gives you the choice of enjoying a real open fire along with the efficiency and safety of slow combustion heating when you slide the door securely down.