Archive for January 25th, 2022

January 25, 2022

The Château of Azay le Rideau!!!

And on my way back from my road warrior trip in the Loire Valley of the Kings, I had time to stop by another castle. I chose Azay le Rideau, believe or not ,this is my first visit to this castle. It was impressive as all of them in my belle France. Lucky enough to be less than 4 hrs from them ,and need more time to see them all!!! Let me tell you a bit more on the town and castle of Azay le Rideau! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Azay le Rideau is located in the department of Indre-et-Loire 41, the Centre-Val de Loire region, On January 1, 2017, it was integrated into the new community of towns Touraine Vallée de l’Indre. It is located in the Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Natural Park.

A bit of history on the town tell us that on July 4, 1189, Henry II Plantagenet, King of England, faced a coalition of his sons with Philip Augustus, King of France. His defeat ended with the Treaty of Azay-le-Rideau which established his son Richard the Lion Hearted as sole heir to the throne of England.  Honoré de Balzac quotes Azay-le-Rideau in his novels, in particular Le Lys dans la vallée (1836). The descendants of Armand de Biencourt having kept or having been able to buy back part of his important collection during sales, his granddaughter Marguerite Marie Amélie donated in 1939 to the “Musée Condé” in Chantilly a set of 52 portraits drawn by old masters ( François and Jean Clouet, Corneille de Lyon, Holbein, Memling, Pourbus, Cranach, Rubens, Stella).

It is accessible by the TER Tours – Chinon line which systematically stops in the town. I came from Amboise taken the road D31 to the autoroute/expressway A85 to the road D751 direction Azay le Rideau and into the castle. The parking is paying we did 2,80€ and just walk around the corner into the castle entrance, easy even with a wheelchair and Dad in tow in addition to our dog Rex!

The Château Azay le Rideau is one of the most beautiful Renaissance architectural marvels along the Loire valley It was built early 16C skillfully combining French architecture and Italian-Flemish influences In the 17C , a monumental entrance with a grand staircase was built with a half moon courtyard In the 19C 3 generations of the Marquis de Biencourt focused the restoration to elevate Azay to the rank of national treasure.

Azay le Rideau castle entr out jan22

Azay le Rideau castle entr front jan22

Azay le Rideau castle from entr ofc jan22

There is a Secret Garden in the 19C, today a conservatory garden planted with heirloom vegetables of the Centre Val de Loire region, There is the Priory Garden where a priory once stood and now it is an English garden, This leads you to the Main Courtyard or Cour d’honneur with an L shape logis and two facades in tuffeau, The Grand staircase is composed of four tiers of bays that are staggered in relation to the other windows of the logis, The emblems and initials of the salamander and ermine of François I and Claude de France (daughter of Anne de Bretagne), This Grand staircase very modern in 16C France was built at the center of the main building, with nice landings and a handrail sculpted into the wall attest the quest for comfort in its conception,The standings opening into loggias allowing people to look out while also being seen are covered by quite different vaults ,the arches of which are decorated with ermines, salamanders, and putti cherubs,  You come into the Great Hall or Grande Salle, with a monumental fireplace, tapestries and various wooden furniture.

Azay le Rideau castle to front ofc and garden moat jan22

Azay le Rideau castle grand staircase out jan22

Azay le Rideau castle le pressoir entr jan22

Azay le Rideau castle grand staircase jan22

You move on to the Psyche’s room, located beyond the Great Hall , the room was used as a bedroom during the Renaissance, It owes its name today to the wonderful tapestries adorning its walls telling the story of Psyche a methodological theme very much in vogue in the Renaissance, There are scenes depicted on them with the central one telling the story of Psyche persuaded by her sisters, the young girl tried to discovered the identity of Cupid and glimpses his face by the light of an oil lamp, A drop of burning oil falls on the god, who at once flees, abandoning her,

Azay le Rideau castle psyche room jan22

Azay le Rideau castle psyche room tapestries jan22

There is a little room as the wardrobe during the Renaissance period and then goes into the Renaissance room used as a living space then, People slept, ate here etc, The room reflects the 16C interiors as the bed is the main of the decor, There is a painting work of Primaticcio from the 16C.

Azay le Rideau castle work room jan22

You move into the Antechamber which served as a waiting room for people waiting to be received by the lord into his private apartments, Portraits of kings hangs on the wall from the Renaissance to the 17C, Louis XII can be seen on the left of the fireplace, then a series of portraits of François I, Henri II, and Henri III, Facing the fireplace portraits of Henri IV, Louis XIII, and Louis XIV shown standing.

Azay le Rideau castle antechambre room chimney jan22

Azay le Rideau castle antechambre room paintings jan22

The King’s bedroom where Louis XIII spent two nighs in 1619, The cabinet motifs shows the macabre episodes of the Thirty Years’ War which devastated Europe, The walls are adorned with 17C tapestries after the cartoons by Simon Vouet illustrating two episodes from Jerusalem Delivered , an epic by Torquato Tasso a celebrated Italian Renaissance poet,

Azay le Rideau castle bedroom kings jan22

We move on to the Biencourt Salon, Which as a state room ,its furnishing are of the highest quality, inviting distinguished guests to relax, A layout worthy of the best from the 19C aristocratic residences, You see an equestriajn statue of Louis XII, porcelain from the Indies, and a collection of 300 paintings from the 16-17C of great figures of France.

Azay le Rideau castle salon biencourt jan22

Azay le Rideau castle bedroom Biencourt jan22

You move to the wonderful Billiards ‘room, Portraits from the 16-17C belonging to the Biencourt family decorate this room, Amongst others, you see opposite the fireplace a 16C work representing Psyche bringing Proserpine’s vase to Venus, At the far end there is a remarkable bust in white marble and bronze of Henri IV in his robes.

Azay le Rideau castle billiards room jan22

Azay le Rideau castle billiards room et chimney jan22

There is the storeroom to house tableware, linen, etc for daily use as well as the necessary utensils for preparing meals, Next you have the kitchen with a ground level raised in the 19C, the fireplace and wells were just over a meter below and installed 16C, Follow up with the Dining Room ; where the table is set up according to the 19C with the Biencourt porcelain table service and completed with a table service of Louis XV, the dishes from the 18C.

Azay le Rideau castle dining room jan22

Azay le Rideau castle kitchen jan22

Azay le Rideau castle kitchen oven jan22

You have a corridor opened into the main coutryard from the 16C, and the Salon Library arranged according to furniture of 1854, You see gaming tables, musical boxes, and books with comfortable Louis Philippe sofas, bergeres, and armchairs ideal for relaxation and conversation, You go up the large attic given extra height because the walls supporting the trusses are raised above floor level, The original framework is oak,which was cut on the authority of François I in 1517 in the forest of Chinon.

Azay le Rideau

Azay le Rideau castle corridor stairs jan22

Azay le Rideau castle large attic jan22

The Château d’Azay le Rideau was taken over by the government of France in 1905 bare of all furniture,It was initially furnished by loans from public collections notably the Musée du Louvre and the Musée National du Moyen Âge, Since 2015, special partnership with the Centre des monuments nationaux has allowed for the restoration of about 100 pieces of furniture, carpets, objects, and works of arts incarnating the art of living in the 19C.

Another wonderful castle in the valley of the kings of the Loire. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

The Azay-Chinon-Val de Loire tourist office on the castlehttps://www.azay-chinon-valdeloire.com/fiches/chateau-dazay-le-rideau/

The Touraine Val de Loire tourist office on the castlehttps://www.touraineloirevalley.co.uk/cultural-heritage/chateau-of-azay-le-rideau-azay-le-rideau/

The city of Azay le Rideau on its heritagehttps://www.azaylerideau.fr/patrimoine

There you go folks, another dandy castle in the Loire! The Château d’Azay le Rideau is another worth the detour castle me think. We enjoy it and our quest to see them all continues, the castles of the Loire are awesome. A good reason to leave out Paris indeed.

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

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January 25, 2022

Montrichard and its heritage!!

Montrichard is located in the department 41 of Loir-et-Cher in the Centre-Val de Loire region. Montrichard Val de Cher is the name of the new town formed in 2016 by the union of Montrichard and Bourré. It is on the banks of the Cher river between Tours and Vierzon. Nearby other tourist spots in the area of the castles of the Loire: less than 20 km from Chenonceaux, Amboise, Montpoupon, Valençay and Chaumont. Tours is only 38 km, Paris: 189 km, and Nantes: 207 km , The town is served by the Montrichard train station on the Vierzon – St Pierre des Corps line, I was in my road warrior tour of the area and after Amboise decide to stop by on the road D61/115,

So again, my road warrior tours takes me to new places i was not intended to visit! This time with extra time after visiting Amboise and Chenonceau, took a peek of Montrichard Val de Cher, and it was a pleasant trip of new wonderful things to see in my belle France.  Nice monuments here, and will like to show you these beautiful monuments in Montrichard Val de Cher! Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Church Notre Dame de Nanteuil has a choir with polygonal apse vaulted cul-de-four, projecting transept and semi-circular apsidioles vaulted cul-de-four 12C, single nave of four bays 13C, facade and portal 15C, two superimposed 15C chapels at the corner of the nave and the north transept, two stone staircases, an internal staircase; paintings from the 16-17-18C. In the 15C, King Louis XI and Queen Charlotte of Savoy, his wife, continued to support it. Thus, thanks to them, the external staircase was completed. In addition, the sculpted tympanum takes the form of two cherubs bearing a shield now erased, formerly bearing the arms of Louis XI who launched work in the 15C. Also outside, on the chevet, interesting sculpted corbels are preserved. It is worth highlighting, inside, the presence of finely carved capitals with exceptional decorations. Plants, birds, characters or monsters, the varied subjects and the finesse of execution are remarkable.

Montrichard ch ND de Nanteuil front facade jan22
Montrichard ch ND de Nanteuil altar jan22
The furniture of the Church Notre Dame de Nanteuil is of the most classic without any real striking piece, except for various paintings, most of which are kept at the city/town hall and in the museum. Only the Presentation at the Temple, a 17C oil on canvas is presented in the north transept., The most revered object is a statue of the Virgin Mary. This high place of Marian devotion has witnessed many miracles and graces, if judge by the quantity of ex-votos that are still gathered there. Pilgrimages have taken place there since time immemorial, since, in 1218, the lord of Montrichard had given the chapel a large meadow, already bearing the name of pilgrims’ meadow. King Louis XI went there often, he who built the great portal decorated with the arms of France, united with those of Charlotte of Savoy, his wife, Pope Pius IX granted indulgences to pilgrims coming to Notre-Dame de Nanteuil . The great annual pilgrimage takes place on Whit Monday (Pentecost) each year.

Montrichard ch ND de Nanteuil chapel sacre heart jan22

Montrichard ch ND de Nanteuil chapel virgin et child far jan22

Montrichard

The city of Montrichard Val de Cher on the churchhttps://www.montrichardvaldecher.com/decouvrir-le-patrimoine/patrimoine-de-montrichard/eglise-notre-dame-de-nanteuil/

The Hôtel d’Effiat at place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, built by Jean de Beaune for the Gothic part, and by his son, Guillaume de Beaune for the Renaissance part. The Marquis d’Effiat, who owned it, offered it to the city in 1717 to set up a hospice there. It remained a local hospital until 1977., The story goes that at the beginning of the 16C, Jacques de Beaune , superintendent and governor general of royal finances, became lord of Montrichard and baron of Semblançay. The castle having become uninhabitable, he had the “Grand Maison” built to the west of the castle, between rue Porte aux Rois and the current rue Carnot. During the reign of Louis XIV, Martin de Ruzé, Marquis d’Effiat, inherited the Montrichard estate, then in 1677 gave it to his eldest son Antoine, first squire to the Duke of Orléans. The Marquis d’Effiat bequeathed the “Grande Maison” to the city in a will of 1714 to set up a hospice there. It was a hospital-hospice from 1727 to 1977. During the 19C, the current chapel and the rooms that extend it replaced the rampart on the edge of the “mail Soudée” currently boulevard Philippe-Auguste. In 1978, the former hospice took the name of Hôtel d’Effiat and became a socio-cultural centre. The hotel was restored in 2007, The wonderful Chapelle d’Effiat is the church of the Hôtel d’Effiat at 8 Rue Porte au Roi.

Montrichard hotel de l effiat front jan22

Montrichard Chapelle d'Effiat jan22

Montrichard Chapelle d'Effiat nave to altar jan22

The city of Montrichard Val de Cher on its heritagehttps://www.montrichardvaldecher.com/decouvrir-le-patrimoine/patrimoine-de-montrichard/

The city of Montrichard Val de Cher and its historyhttps://www.montrichardvaldecher.com/decouvrir-son-histoire/

The South Loire tourist board on Montrichardhttps://www.sudvaldeloire.co.uk/destination-sud-val-de-loire_en/nos-villages-entre-moyen-age-et-renaissance_en/cite-medievale-de-montrichard_en/

There you go folks, another dandy in my belle France. Indeed it always amazes me of the bounty the country has, and the choices are endless. I am trying harder to see it all !!! Hope you enjoy the Church Notre Dame de Nanteuil and the Chapelle d’Effiat in Montrichard Val de Cher!!

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

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January 25, 2022

Montrichard and its castle!

So again, my road warrior tours takes me to new places i was not intended to visit! This time with extra time after visiting Amboise and Chenonceau, took a peek of Montrichard Val de Cher, and it was a pleasant trip of new wonderful things to see in my belle France.

Montrichard is located in the department 41 of Loir-et-Cher in the Centre-Val de Loire region. Montrichard Val de Cher is the name of the new town formed in 2016 by the union of Montrichard and Bourré. It is on the banks of the Cher river between Tours and Vierzon. Nearby other tourist spots in the area of the castles of the Loire: less than 20 km from Chenonceaux, Amboise, Montpoupon, Valençay and Chaumont. Tours is only 38 km, Paris: 189 km, and Nantes: 207 km , The town is served by the Montrichard train station on the Vierzon – St Pierre des Corps line, I was in my road warrior tour of the area and after Amboise decide to stop by on the road D61/115.

Nice monuments here but the main one me think is the donjon of the old castle and the museums inside or around it. Brief stop this is it for Montrichard Val de Cher!

The main tower constituting the Château de Montrichard from the 12C probably succeeds a first tower built by Foulques Nerra at the beginning of the 11C. The main tower is still in elevation with part of its curtain walls. The Castle is a fortified castle, now in ruins , and initially was built at the beginning of the 11C by the Count of Anjou Foulques Nerra. It served as a fulcrum in his fight against the Count of Blois, Eudes II. Hugues I of Amboise seized the fortress of Montrichard in 1109. He made expansion works and it is the remains of this fortress that we see today.

Montrichard castle towers jan22

 

Montrichard castle front side jan22

The former Château de Montrichard  keep is enclosed by a protective wall, a defensive wall, surrounding a tower, In 1461, Louis XI exchanged his lordships of Gourmay and La Ferté-en-Bray for the lordship and castle of Montrichard, together with Guillaume d’Harcourt. The king chose this castle and the Sainte-Croix Church for the wedding celebrations of his two daughters, Anne de France (1474) and Jeanne de France (1476). During WWII, the site was cannonaded by French troops in 1940 and the small round tower from the 15C was destroyed. Nowadays, two museums stand side by side at this unusual site: The archeological museum of the friends of René Galloux will make you discover the depths of history. Through the visit of its rooms, you will travel in Paleontology, the Prehistory of man, Molinology (unique room in Europe), the Gallo-Roman period or the Merovingian period. The Ethnology Museum of the Friends of Old Montrichard will immerse you in the atmosphere of the 1900s, you will discover objects from the past, admire the wax statues of famous figures from the history of the city, learn certain methods of crafts. 

Montrichard castle back wall jan22

Montrichard castle tower wall jan22

As this was attach to the ramparts of the castle will include in this post. The Musée des Confréries Européennes at 4 Rue Porte au Roi in the moat of the Château de Montrichard-Val-de-Cher, at the foot of the monumental staircase. 400 statuettes about 60 cm high and all bearing the image of the famous brotherhoods statuettes of more than 700 European brotherhoods, but not only that, you will also find documents and objects there. The museum is to make known, to promote with all the brotherhoods, those existing and to come, both on the French and European level, to defend, promote, animate and make recognize the museum of European brotherhoods.Just for the anecdote as the museum is closed.

Montrichard mus des confreries européens 4 Rue Prte au Roi jan22

The Montrichard Val de Cher tourist office on the donjon and its museums : https://www.montrichardvaldecher.com/tourisme/la-forteresse-et-ses-musees/

The city of Montrichard Val de Cher on its heritagehttps://www.montrichardvaldecher.com/decouvrir-le-patrimoine/patrimoine-de-montrichard/

The city of Montrichard Val de Cher and its historyhttps://www.montrichardvaldecher.com/decouvrir-son-histoire/

The South Loire tourist board on Montrichardhttps://www.sudvaldeloire.co.uk/destination-sud-val-de-loire_en/nos-villages-entre-moyen-age-et-renaissance_en/cite-medievale-de-montrichard_en/

There you go folks , another dandy in my belle France. Always amazing to find these gems all over, and yet so close less than 4 hrs from home, just perfect. Hope you too can enjoy these gems and do visit Montrichard Val de Cher and its donjon. France is a mouvable feast!!

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

 

 

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