Archive for February 16th, 2022

February 16, 2022

Curiosities of Loudun!!!

And we are moving on closer to home and passing for the first time by Loudun. It goes without saying the choices are endless in my belle France. Sometimes difficult to choose where to go next….We were on our road warrior trip by the Loire Valley and decided to go a bit south so we met with Loudun. I heard about it and wanted to visit! This will be an introduction to Loudun as we will be back.

The town of Loudun is located in the Vienne department no 86 in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. It is a town with the ruins of the old castle destroyed by Richelieu, and whose historic center is surrounded by old ramparts. Land of covetousness, the Loudunais and the seneschalsy of Loudun were attached to Anjou, contrary to the administrative division in the 21C, where the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region presents an outgrowth to the north of the department of Vienne to encompass Loudun. In the Middle Ages and until the French revolution, it is the Saumurois which sinks into the current Poitou, including Loudun and the Loudunais to Mirebeau in the south. The town is located at the intersection of national road 147 and departmental roads 14, 61, 63, 147 and 759, 22 km from Chinon, 30 km from Saumur and 52 km from Poitiers. We made it on the road D61 from Richelieu.

A bit of history I like

Loudun depended on the Counts of Anjou until 1206, when Philippe Auguste attached it to the Crown of France. However, Philippe Auguste gave Loudun custody to Guillaume des Roches, Seneschal of Anjou and Maine, because the King of France considered Loudun a strategic place and decided to replace the old castle with a new fortress to counter the powerful Plantagenets. In 1476, King René, Duke of Anjou, was forced to enter into an agreement with Louis XI, being accused of having negotiated with Charles the Bold. Loudun is again reunited with the crown of France. Louis XI erects it as a bailiwick. Francis I orders the custom of Loudun to be drawn up. The Loudunais becomes a seneschalsy, which depends on the governor of Saumur.

In 1568, the struggles between Protestants and Catholics resumed. Henri, King of Navarre, then 16 years old, was at Loudun with the Protestant army. The Protestants burned the Sainte-Croix Collegiate Church, the convent of the Carmelite church (Saint-Hilaire-du-Martray) and the aldermen. The Duke of Anjou (future Henry III) lays siege to Loudun to recover the city from Protestant hands. In 1569, Coligny laid siege to Poitiers, but the arrival of the royal army forced him to raise the siege. The confrontation takes place during the Battle of Moncontour: the Duke of Anjou inflicts a bloody defeat on the Huguenots. In 1579, King Henry III elevated Loudun to the rank of non-hereditary duchy in favor of Françoise de Rohan. In 1584, Henri III gave the order to destroy the fortress erected by Philippe II Auguste, the palace of the dukes-kings of Anjou-Sicily and the fortified enclosure of Loudun. In 1587, Henri de Navarre seized Loudun, as well as Vivonne, Mirebeau and Châtellerault. Loudun welcomes the advances of the French revolution.

Things to see me think are
La Tour Carrée, former keep of the castle built by Foulques Nerra, Count of Anjou, in 1040, When we passed by it was completely disambled for its reconstruction, it it was almost only to the base in stones. So no pictures. 
The medieval Le Jardin d’Inspiration at the foot of the Tour Carrée, it presents medicinal plants as well as condiments. Braided chestnut squares, pergolas, wooden arches serve as decor for this garden

The Sainte-Croix Church, now called Sainte-Croix Collegiate Church, is the setting for many contemporary art exhibitions and concerts. The choir and transept are from the 12C.

The Théophraste-Renaudot Museum: honors Théophraste Renaudot, whose works belong to the history of thought, literature.

Loudun mus renaudot front feb22
The Saint-Hilaire du Martray Church, adjoining the Carmelite convent. The Church of Saint-Pierre du marché, built under Philippe II Auguste.  
From the construction of Philippe Auguste, in 1214, near the square where “the crush of meat” stood, today is the Place de la Bouffeterie, only the sanctuary and the transept with the four superb and powerful pillars on which the vaults rest. This Church of Saint Pierre du marché was looted and ransacked during the Hundred Years War. After this troubled period, the nave was built in the purest ogival style.  The aspect of the portal of the church recalls a very high triumphal arch, very harmonious in its proportions. It is richly decorated with elegant carvings. As soon as construction was completed, the Huguenots ransacked the church and the particularly vulnerable carvings were mutilated.  The 1701 bell tower was in danger of collapsing. It was simply chained. And it was only in 1931 that it was demolished stone by stone and reassembled in its primitive aspect.  During the French revolution, the church, looted, became the temple of Reason then it was transformed into a fodder park.The portal was restored in 1987.

Loudun ch St Pierre front feb22

Loudun ch St Pierre nave to altar feb22

Loudun ch St Pierre baptismal font feb22

Loudun ch St Pierre organ back feb22

The city of Loudun and the Church Saint Pierre du marché
Enclosure area (moat, enclosure, former round tower), 13C , The City/Town Hall, 19C, and the Porte du Martray, the only vestige left of the four gates of the urban wall built under Philippe Auguste.

Loudun ramparts castle feb22

Loudun hotel de ville front feb22

Loudun porte du Martray feb22

The city of Loudun and its heritage

The Loudun tourist office on its heritage

There you go folks, another dandy town in another region of my belle France. This is Loudun worth the detour and we will be back for more soon. For now ,hope you enjoy the brief introduction on the curiosities of Loudun!!!

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

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February 16, 2022

Champigny-sur-Veude ,a former castle and a Holy Chapel!!

Again, moving right along in my road warrior tour of the Loire Valley, more surprises. These were not intended to visit ,but you see them in the run and with so much to see, you think, well after passing you will have enough for the rest of my life or yours. Another jewel found in Champigny sur Veude on the road D749. Hope you enjoy the tour as I!

The town of Champigny-sur-Veude is in the department 37 of Indre-et-Loire, in the Centre-Val de Loire region. The town is located at the Marches of Touraine, at the confluence of two small rivers: the Veude and the Mâble. We were on our road warrior trip from Richelieu (see post) on the D749 and just saw this marvel, a new find, and a great one,another jewel in my belle France.

The Champigny Castle, good to walk around the communs area originally built in 1499, The estate finally passed through alliances to the House of Bourbon through the marriage of Isabelle de Beauvau, granddaughter of Pierre I de Beauvau, and Jean VIII de Bourbon-Vendôme, ancestor of King Henri IV. It was their sons and grandsons, Louis de La Roche-sur-Yon and Louis III de Bourbon-Montpensier who began the construction of the former castle and the Sainte-Chapelle from 1507 to 1549, after having previously had the old fortress destroyed, La Grande Mademoiselle died in 1693, without posterity, she bequeathed the estate and all of her property to her first cousin, Philippe d’Orléans dit Monsieur, brother of King Louis XIV. His grandson, Louis d’Orléans, sold the estate to Louis-François-Armand de Vignerot du Plessis, Duke of Richelieu, the cardinal’s great-nephew. In 1789, Armand Emmanuel du Plessis de Richelieu, his grandson, was forced into exile and the estate was seized as national property and then sold to François Roch de Quinson in 1791 during the French revolution. His nephew, Pantaléon Costa, marquis de Beauregard, inherited it, then his descendants ended up selling the estate to Augustin Charles Paul Casimir de la Roche-Aymon in 1866, The château de Champigny remained in the latter’s family until 2000, when it was sold to the American couple, Bernard and Joan Carl.

Champigny sur Veude castle louis de bourbon feb22

Champigny sur Veude castle louis bourbon to dome tower front feb22

Champigny sur Veude castle louis de bourbon courtyard side feb22

The Sainte-Chapelle of Champigny-sur-Veude, one of the seven surviving holy chapels in France, is built on the model of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. It is emblematic of Renaissance art at its peak. The stained glass windows are remarkable; the portraits of the Bourbons then of the Bourbon-Montpensiers since Saint Louis are represented there as well as the evocation of the main stages of the life of the king and his crusades. Why call a Sainte-Chapelle? (holy chapel), These are chapels founded by (and for) the descendants of Saint-Louis (king Louis IX), either by kings or by princes. That of Champigny is a princely chapel built at the request of Louis I of Bourbon in the 15C. They all have the particularity of having housed relics of the Passion of Christ and all have an air of resemblance on the model of the famous Sainte-Chapelle Royale in Paris. This exceptional chapel holds architectural treasures and stained glass art. The beauty of stained glass worked like paintings. You can admire 11 windows 8 meters high, which are the most beautiful Renaissance stained glass windows in France. These stained glass windows of rare preservation and teeming with details and colors, the history of Saint-Louis, from his coronation to his death, including his crusades in the Holy Land. For lovers of religious heritage, you will admire the beautiful painted and sculpted keystones in homage to the Bourbons with their famous crowned L’s and bird wings, but also by its entrance portico dating from the 2nd Renaissance and its Greek influences and Roman unique in the Loire Valley!, Great discovery!

Champigny sur Veude chapelle st louis arriv feb22

Champigny sur Veude chapelle st louis tower feb22

Louis II de Bourbon, Duke of Montpensier, married in 1538 Jacqueline de Longwy, daughter of the lord of Givry. Jacqueline’s uncle, Cardinal Claude de Longwy de Givry, Bishop of Langres, gave the newlyweds the eleven windows and the western rose that decorate the chapel. These skylights tell three stories on three levels:
On the upper level of the stained glass windows, scenes from the Passion of Christ,  at the intermediate level, episodes from the life of Saint Louis. These scenes were inspired by the miniatures of the Livre des faiz de Monseigneur Saint Louis dating from around 1480,from the couple of Louis IX and Marguerite de Provence in the axis, the couples forming the genealogy of the Dukes of Bourbon-Montpensier. The stained glass windows of the seigniorial chapels disappeared in the 19C. These windows reflect the possibility for the Bourbons, driven out by François I following the betrayal of the Constable of Bourbon, to claim the throne of France after the Valois, which will be achieved by the coronation of Henri IV.

Champigny sur Veude chapelle st louis back feb22

Of course, cannot travel without a bit of history I like

The town of Champigny-sur-Veude is a very old village (called Campiniacus in 1080). From this period dates the attachment of the parish of Champigny to the abbey of Notre-Dame de Noyers which will retain the cure and the income until the end of the 15C. Louis de Bourbon-Vendôme of La Roche-sur-Yon; last son of Jean VIII and Isabelle, heir of the Bourbon Dukes of Montpensier, built a magnificent castle in 1499, and had the privilege, as a descendant of Saint Louis, of building a Sainte-Chapelle on the model of that of his ancestor. The ensemble was completed by his son Louis II or III, Duke of Montpensier in 1561 and Dauphin of Auvergne in 1543, father of Duke François, himself father of Duke Henri and grandfather of Marie de Montpensier. The Sainte-Chapelle de Champigny was managed by the Collegiate Church of Saint-Louis, which was provided with the necessary income for the maintenance and the charges that fell to it.

In the 17C, Cardinal Richelieu undertook to build his new town of Richelieu (see post) less than 7 km from the city of the Bourbon-Vendôme, from which he took umbrage. In 1635 he acquired the property of Champigny belonging to Gaston Duke of Orléans (younger brother of Louis XIII; his first wife was the heiress Marie de Bourbon-Montpensier parents of Anne-Marie-Louise d’Orléans alias la Grande Mademoiselle ) and destroyed the castle we can only imagine it from the perspective of the main courtyard and facing the chapel but he kept the outbuildings , Only the chapel escaped destruction, Pope Urban VIII who officiated there, refusing his authorization, In 1656, restitution was obtained by the daughter of Gaston d’Orléans. In 1791 under the French revolution, the Champigny estate, which had become national property, was sold.

The Touraine Loire valley tourist office on the Chapel

There you go folks, another dandy jewel in my belle France. Well if you read  my blog, you know this is usual by now, so much beauty all over, good for a lifetime of la vie est belle!!! Hope you enjoy the visit to Champigny sur Veude and the Sainte Chapelle as I

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

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February 16, 2022

L’Île Bouchard and La Isla Bonita!!!

And of course, with all these going around we ,also, needed a rest to sleep in this beautiful lands of the Loire Valley of my belle France. We knew the place we stayed before was central so we opted for a repeat and see the folks still very nice. I like to tell you a bit more of the Île Bouchard (an island on the Vienne river) and our stayed at the La Isla Bonita b&b. Hope you enjoy it as I.

ile bouchard hotel de ville feb22

Below from the pont St Maurice (D757) to town and the belltower of the Church St Maurice

ile bouchard pont st maurice D757 to belltower ch St Maurice feb22

As already rented from them , the call was direct and cheaper for the same apartment for 4 including wheelchair Dad. Another son and the dog Rex stayed behind this timeThe contact was easy and immediately rented the Trinidad apartment which windows have a view on the back terrace leading to the Vienne river!.You can see my other posts on the town island of Île Bouchard! Only 17 km from Chinon. The L’Île-Bouchard is located in the Indre-et-Loire department,37 in the Centre-Val de Loire region. The view from La Isla Bonita our B&B to town below

Ile Bouchard la isla bonita bb to town feb22

The Isla Bonita chambre d’Hôte or B&B is located on an island, on the edge of the Vienne river; in fact the terrace is right next to it!. The B&B  allows you to enjoy the charm and tranquility of Touraine while offering a variety of attractions nearby. We stayed at the Trinidad apartment, a family room: it is made up of 2 separate rooms which communicate: a parent room and a child room. Each room has access to the balcony. 28.17 sq meters with inside bathroom. Great!  La Isla Bonita BB at 10 pl Bouchard, Île Bouchard, The loire valley tourist office webpage:

ile bouchard la isla bonita bb front my car feb22

ile bouchard la isla bonita bb living feb22

Ile Bouchard la isla bonita salon upstairs by room feb22

ile bourchard la isla bonita bb bfast feb22

As we already knew the island of 1700 folks, we walked to pick up our pizzas for dinner in our room. This was again the good Pizzeria Tintin.You ordered and go to pick up about one km from the apartment. This was recommended by the owners on our first trip here, and was good again. webpage:

ile bouchard pizzeria Tintin feb22

There you go folks, a nice secluded real France stay with easy connection to the wonders of the Loire Valley, and very friendly folks at La Isla Bonita! Hope you enjoy the post and discover with me this pretty island.

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

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