Saturday, August 24, 2013

church Saint-Ours at château de Loches

The château de Loches was constructed in the 12th century by king Henry II of England (Plantagenet) and his son Richard the Lionheart.  If you haven't seen the film The Lion in Winter, be sure to do so before you visit here; or watch it anyway, it's a classic.  This all ties in to yesterday's post referencing Henry's wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine (and you know of course who played her in the movie).  But I digress.

This hilltop fortress was built during the hundred years war between England and France.  In 1204, the French took control of Loches and kept it.  By the 15th century, the château had become one of the royal residences of French king Charles VII.  While here, Joan of Arc came to plead that Charles go to reclaim the French crown that had been "given away" by his father Charles VI ("the crazy") to the English.  Today, you can still stand in that same room (see plaque below).   Later Charles gave the château to the first French royal mistress, Agnès Sorel, who is now interred in the church Saint-Ours.  It turns out that almost all of the current royal families of Europe as well as two French presidents are her (and Charles') descendants.

Ah, history is so fascinating to a recovering engineer such as I who is now trying to put together a huge puzzle from pieces collected over a lifetime.

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