Château de Langeais, the castle!!!

And we went back to the valley of the kings and the wonderful castles of my belle France. We have been to them when even visiting France but has taken me many years to be back; this was as good as any time to do this. We first went to the Château de Villandry and then the Château de Langeais! Let’s end this tour of several posts, and finish with a bang at the Château de Langeais! Hope you enjoy it as we!

This is a wonderful castle which I like all anyway, but this one rang right up there as one of the best display and furnished.  The 15C Château de Langeais and its park. The castle replaces a first fortified castle built at the end of the 10C by Foulques Nerra. The castle is located on a rocky promontory overlooking the Loire Valley on the right bank. The castle is preceded by a castrum with a keep on a motte built in stone and not in wood, associated with a domicilium. This fortified work was built at the instigation of Foulques Nerra, Count of Anjou after 994. It would be, with its main building immediately provided with defensive means, one of the first stone dungeons, having vestiges that have subsisted.

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Under the domination of the English Plantagenets dynasty, the castle was enlarged by the King of England Richard the Lionheart, also, Count of Maine and Anjou from 1189 to 1199.  King Philippe Auguste re-conquered it in 1206, then it was destroyed by the English during the Hundred Years War. A facade of the main tower remains of the building from this period, known as the Donjon de Foulques Nerra. In 1465, Louis XI ordered the reconstruction of the castle, below the remains of the old building.The new castle of Langeais was completed in 1469.

Until the reign of Louis XIII, the Château de Langeais remained the property of the crown of France, which sometimes gave it as compensation or reward. It then belongs to different families. Looted and abandoned during the French revolution and at the beginning of the 19C, the buildings were rehabilitated from 1833.

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The Langeais castle found a taker in the person of M. Baron in April 1839. The castle of Langeais was in poor condition. The town, a partial tenant, has transformed the large downstairs room into a stable for the horses of the gendarmes (police). Another part is assigned to the audience of the justice of the peace and the cantonal prison. The neighbors occupy the cellars and common areas as they wish. The park is divided into about sixty plots devoted to fruit trees and vines. A Mulhouse businessman Jacques Siegfried, who for 20 years restored and refurnished it before donating it to the Institut de France on March 22, 1904 (Colin-Langeais deed) with reserve of usufruct for his heirs.

A bit of a description I like

For some historians, the two angled walls which stand behind the castle of Louis XI would be the remains of a domicilium transformed into a dungeon This one is equipped with a medieval wooden scaffolding with its lifting devices, in the style of the time.  Very well preserved and little altered, the Château de Langeais is a fine example of architecture from the end of the medieval period, characterized by its drawbridge, its high roofs, its machicolations, its rampart walk and its monumental finely carved chimneys., unique throughout France . Langeais is in fact built at the crossroads between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, its west facade, on the garden side, offering a completely different face, marked by Renaissance-type decorations.

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This set includes fifteen rooms furnished and decorated, including the “Salle des Preux”(hall of valiants) and its unique collection of 15-16C tapestries, seven pieces (out of nine) from the famous hanging or suite of the Preux (Aubusson or Felletin, which would have been carried out between 1525 and 1540 for Pierre Paien Protestant lord of Chauray in Poitou.   Jacques Siefgried acquired it in 1892.   This collection of seven out of nine tapestries, with only two missing (those of Charlemagne and Judas Macchabée, disappeared or destroyed), is the most complete in the world.

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The castle is animated by a scenography representing the daily life of a noble family of the late Middle Ages and the marriage of Charles VIII and Anne of Brittany, (which we saw the act led by Stéphane Bern!) as well as by a collection of major works from this period. Its park now offers several playgrounds and a cabin perched in a majestic cedar, as well as a promenade leading to the Loire belvedere.

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The most significant event in the life of the Langeais castle was the royal wedding of Charles VIII with Anne of Brittany, celebrated on December 6, 1491 at 7h. Early and in secret to avoid rambling of the Hapburgs! The young duchess was then only 14 years old.

The official Château de Langeaishttps://chateau-de-langeais.com/

The town of Langeais  on its heritage see right column: https://langeais.fr/fr/rb/432499/patrimoine-et-monuments

The Touraine Val de Loire tourist site on the Château de Langeaishttps://www.touraineloirevalley.com/patrimoine-culturel/chateau-et-parc-de-langeais-langeais/

Now let me give you our tour as we did it individually and it was a blast especially walking around the top head of the donjon tower!

First, we went in to the Salon des Boiseries Peintes or painted woods room with armories, and all decorated in wood even the walls! You go on to the Salon des Mille Fleurs or thousand flowers room, with tapistries in flower motifs from Flemish shops and more period furniture. Moving right along to the Salle de la Devise or emblems room, with souvenirs of Charles VIII and Anne de Bretagne such as her ermine. You entered the big Salle du Banquet or dining room with all arranged in the lordship showcase and a beautiful decorated chimney with 13 personages as well as more Flemish tapestries. Go to the Chambre de Parement,here as in the middle ages we sleep and we work; see the tapestry of the Crucifixion of Christ done by Van der Weyden. You entered the chambre de la Dame or ladies bedroom; as in the middle ages the lord sleeps on the first stage and the lady and children on the second. You see the lions of Luxembourg for the widow of the governor of Luxembourg! Then you have arrive at the Chambre des Enfants or children’s bedroom with items from children from the king and duchess and see the Flemish tapestry for reference on child bearing women of the times. You reach the Cabinet d’Art Sacré or sacre art room with paintings of Sainte Agnés, a relicary coffre and miracles of bees , the Jewish Easter etc. I was impressed by the sculpture statues of the 3 Saints of the Spanish school of the 16C showing Saint Bernardin de Siena, Sainte Catherine of Alexandria, and Saint Louis of Anjou who refuse the throne of Naples to become a Franciscan monk,and was bishop of Toulouse! You, also, see a sculpture statue of the Virgin and the Child from 1480, and Sainte Anne in polychrome wood showing a book teaching to read her daughter Virgin Mary! As explained better above I reached the salle des preux or valiant room pics above but here in this room you see tapestries of Josué, David, Judas Maccabeo, Hector, Alexander the Great, Cesar, Arthur and the round table, Godefroy de Bouillon who took Jerusalem on the first crusade, and Charlemagne! Awesome room!!!You get to the salle de Luini or room of Luini dedicated to the Renaissance period with frescoes and tapestries, and furniture. The mariage of Charles VIII and Anne of Bretagne was told by image on the walls by Stéphane Bern ,really superbe showing each personage and their role in the wedding of 1491! And of course, leaving from the donjon top circular motion all the way down and out; really a must to see!!!

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There you go folks a wonderful entry into beautiful Château de Langeais! All about 3 hrs from our home which can be done in a day!! We got the hang of it and will be back for more castles which we love in natural setting with great food and wines of my belle France. Hope you enjoy the post as I did telling you about it.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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