The outset of his administration was marked by Franco-Italian fetes at Toulon (10th to I4th April 1901), when the Italian fleet returned a visit paid by the French Mediterranean squadron to Cagliari in April 1899; and by the despatch of three Italian warships to Prevesa to obtain satisfaction for damage done to Italian subjects by Turkish officials.
The creator of the present edifice was Francis I., under whom the architect Gilles le Breton erected most of the buildings of the Cour Ovale, including the Porte Doree, its southern entrance, and the Salle des Fetes, which, in the reign of Henry II., was decorated by the Italians, Francesco Primaticcio and Nicolo dell' Abbate, and is perhaps the finest Renaissance chamber in France.
He celebrated his triumphs to the full with gorgeous fetes in his palace, especially with lavish theatrical representations.
He was much employed, owing to Richelieu's influence, in the fetes of the dauphin's marriage, and was rewarded through the influence of Madame de Pompadour on New Year's Day 1745 by the appointment to the post of historiographer-royal, once jointly held by Racine and Boileau.
Some of the festivals of the Roman Church are celebrated with considerable pomp; and the people also cling to various national fetes, such as the Metzgersprung, the Schafflertanz, and the great October festival.