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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