Archive for November 15th, 2022

November 15, 2022

The forteresse de Montbazon !

In continuing my road warrior saga in my belle France ,this time in beautiful Centre Val de Loire region and passing already our first town. We were not thinking of coming here as the fortress of Montbazon was closed and this time we knew it. However, been so close I decided to give it a go anyway, there is always next time. It was a pleasant surprise seeing another of the wonders of my France and another new town in my travel world map! Let me tell you a bit about the forteresse of Montbazon in ruins ok. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Montbazon forteresse chemin entr nov22

The site castral de Montbazon is located in the town of Montbazon in the department of Indre-et-Loire 37 and the region Centre-Val de Loire. The town is about 12 km from Tours, and about 352 km from my house.

A bit on the history as I like it tells us that the development of the site began at the end of the 10C or the beginning of the 11C with the construction of a master tower or keep generally attributed to Foulques Nerra. This development is at the end of a rocky promontory overlooking the valley. The construction of the tower takes place within the framework of the struggle for influence between the houses of Blois and Anjou in this part of Touraine. This tower was raised shortly after and gradually added to it, until the 15C, a forecourt, then a curtain and finally two enclosures protecting the entire site. A Renaissance castle was built in the 15C and famous personages such as Louis VII, Louis XI, Catherine de Medici and Henry of Navarre stayed there for varying lengths of time; however, it was destroyed a little more than three centuries later when, unoccupied, it was largely dilapidated, Since the French revolution but especially from the 20C, alterations or restorations have been carried out by successive owners.

Montbazon forteresse back side nov22

In this period th built up of these fortress consisted of a mound surmounted by a dungeon, most often made of wood. It is possible that such a device existed in Montbazon, located at the level of the medieval main tower, the stone then replacing the wood during the reconstruction of the fortress. According to a charter of Robert II the Pious drafted between 996 and 1006, its sponsor could be Foulques Nerra who built a castellum on land belonging to the Abbey of Saint-Paul de Cormery without prior authorization, Probably during the reign of Henry II Plantagenet, between 1160 and 1180, a ditch was dug to the south of the site and a curtain, obviously built with the limestone rock extracted from the ditch, was built between the latter and the main tower whose lower floor is gradually filled in; in this configuration, the existence of a walkway at the top of the curtain is possible, The fortress was then taken by the King of France, Philippe Auguste, at the very beginning of the 13C; at the same time, the curtain was rebuilt and it leaned at the corner on a three-story tower, called the tower of Philippe Auguste . It was also in the 13C that an enclosure was built to the south of the curtain, providing additional defense in this particularly exposed area.

Montbazon forteresse side tower nov22

Around 1425, a castle was built opposite the old keep by Guy de La Rochefoucauld. It bars the bayle for about 50 meters long and 20 meters wide and divides it into two courtyards. It was probably also in the 15C, at the same time or shortly after the new castle, that the enclosure was built to protect the lower courtyards of the fortified castle. From the beginning of the 17C for lack of money, the new castle was not maintained and fell into ruin. It was demolished in 1746 and its rubble served as embankment to consolidate the road to Spain (future N10); the chapel of Saint-Georges, adjoining a large part of the enclosure suffer the same fate, In December 1790, the walls of the castle threaten to collapse on the presbytery and other houses located below, rue des Moulins ; for safety, the town was authorized to knock them down on October 6, 1791. The upper floor of the main tower and a large part of the adjoining avant-corps collapsed in August 1791. Two years later, it was all the crenellations of the walls still standing which are razed by the inhabitants of Montbazon as « symbols of despotism «, this during the French revolution. The year 1796, the wall of the main tower is cracked over its entire height by lightning, However, 1823, welcome the installation of a Chappe telegraph on the Paris-Bayonne line; a hut housing the telegraph operator is also built at the top of the tower. The electric telegraph replaces it in 1853 the keep is consolidated so as to be able to install at the corner of its summit a statue of the Virgin and Child 9.5 meters high financed by the Empress Eugénie de Montijo (Spanish wife of Napoléon III) in the instigation of Abbé Chauvin, parish priest of Montbazon.

Montbazon forteresse ND et child nov22

American architect and landscaper William Perry Dudley purchased the castle site on March 17, 1922 from Yvonne Dezarrois, grand-niece of Joseph Delaville Le Roulx; he resided there until 1939 in the company of her friend Lilian Whitteker, an American painter who lived there until 1970. He embarked on a vast construction site and lasted more than thirty years ; five years after the death of Dudley which occurred in April 1965, at the end of a complicated succession and while he had bequeathed the fortress to the town of Montbazon, it was finally his second wife and their daughter who inherited the whole. In 1999, Harry and Jacqueline Atterton, an Anglo-French couple, took it over and designed an ambitious restoration and enhancement program with a view to opening it to the public, which was done in 2003. In 2009, a real estate group bought the fortress and continues the work started by the Atterton couple. Since 2010, its promotion and animation have been entrusted to the association of the Knights of the Black Falcon, through guided tours of the site and workshops. In addition to a particularly immersive guided tour, we discover the trades of the Middle Ages under form of sketches and demonstrations: war machines in action, master of arms, stonemason, potter, herbalist, calligrapher… The children try out the many medieval games and leave with their diploma of knight of the fortress !

Montbazon forteresse tour ronde by entr nov22

Other things to see in Montbazon are : The Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Aide Church ,rebuilt from 1851 to 1862 in neo-Romanesque style, on the site of the former Notre-Dame church built in the 12C and belonging to the abbey of Cormery. Its walls are covered internally with stencil paintings, The Hôtel-Dieu, founded in the early 1470s, was located along the road to Tours (current rue Emmanuel-Brault) until around 1740 before the new road to Spain was opened (N10). It operated until 1799, when it was transformed into a tannery. The chapel remains,Honoré de Balzac often visited Montbazon which is one of the sites of his novel Le Lys dans la vallée (1836) and to which he often refers.

The official Forteresse de Montbazon

The local touraine loire valley tourist office on the forteresse :

The town of Montbazon on its heritage :

There you go folks, another dandy found in my belle France and beautiful Centre Val de Loire ,the best example of the Valley of the Kings of France! Montbazon is worth the visit on another road warrior tour, eventually. Again, hope you have enjoyed the post as I.

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

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November 15, 2022

The Church of Saint-Pierre-aux-Liens of Monts !

I am on my road warrior mode again, and again in the beautiful Centre Val de Loire region with many visits. These are all firsts amazing abundance of marvelous places to see in my belle France. I took early into Monts to see the Château de Candé, (see post) . Not to be outdone by arriving late and closed I continue into centre ville or town center/downtown and came upon a nice monument indeed.  The Church of Saint Pierre aux Liens is worth the detour once in town indeed. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Monts ch Saint Pierre aux Liens belltower clock nov22

The Church of Saint-Pierre-aux-Liens dates from the 12C, but only the chevet and a chapel remain from this period. In 1877, the first stone of a new church which integrates the most solid parts of the old one posed The most remarkable element of the new church is its monumental bell tower, which faces south on Place Jacques-Drake; this bell tower was however fragile and required repairs from 1892, work which continued until the 1970s in several stages.

Monts ch Saint Pierre aux Liens nave to altar nov22

Monts ch Saint Pierre aux Liens altar nov22

You can see a representation of Christ in glory framed by the evangelists, painting of the 12C under the vault of the choir an anonymous painting from the end 18C or early 19C depicting the apostle Peter being delivered from Mamertine prison a painting by Léonce Ricau, a 19C copy of a painting by Dominicino depicting Saint Cecilia a portrait of Saint Lawrence by Jules-Claude Ziegler in the second quarter of the 19C. The chapel of Candé, to the west of the park, was built by Santiago Drake del Castillo in 1854-55, at the same time as a girls’ school which forms a wing in return on the side of this chapel while a symmetrical wing houses a hospice. After the school served for a time as accommodation for the director of the Ripault powder factory, all of these buildings were abandoned. The funeral chapel of the Drake del Castillo family houses the graves of several members of this family. Among them are Santiago Drake del Castillo who had the chapel built and whose town supports the perpetual concession as well as his son Jacques, whose terracotta bust is placed inside the chapel.

Monts ch Saint Pierre aux Liens chapel st pierre et child joan of arc nov22

Monts ch Saint Pierre aux Liens chapel virgin et child nov22

Monts ch Saint Pierre aux Liens back wall nov22

The local Loire valley tourist office on the church :

The town of Monts and its heritage:

There you go folks,another dandy visit and a new town in my travel world map and growing, there is no ending in my belle France. The Church of Saint Pierre aux liens is worth the detour me think. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

November 15, 2022

The Château de Candé of Monts !!

I am on my road warrior mode again, and again in the beautiful Centre Val de Loire region with many visits. These are all firsts amazing abundance of marvelous places to see in my belle France. I took early into Monts to see the Château de Candé, and there is always a first, I calculated wrong the opening times and they were only open until October 30th so missed it but with the story and the outside pictures I took,will write this post as an introduction and I will be back , eventually. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Château de Candé is a Louis XII style castle, located in the town of Monts, in the department of Indre-et-Loire 37 in the Centre-Val de Loire region, It is 10 km from Tours on the banks of the Indre river , in the heart of a 260-hectare estate. The town of Monts is located on the Indre , and it is about 341 km from my house.

Monts chateau de cande entr nov22

Monts chateau de cande gardens nov22The town is served by the A 10 Paris-Bordeaux highway/motorway; exit no. 24.1 Montbazon or Sorigny can be reached from the city center via the D 84. In addition, Monts, can be reach from the A 10-A 85 ​​interchange taking you ,also, to Angers or Vierzon. The D 17 follows the Indre valley from Azay-le-Rideau to Cormery and beyond. The D 84,leads to Sorigny and the D 910. The D 86, goes directly to Joué-lès-Tours and the Touraine conurbation. The Monts train station is located on the line from Paris-Austerlitz to Bordeaux-Saint-Jean via Tours and Poitiers. fyi

The interesting story here is that as a Renaissance mansion built in 1499-1500, most certainly replaces a medieval fortified house in a place called Condatum in the 10C. The castle was extended in the second half of the 19C by the wealthy Anglo-Cuban sugar cane planter Santiago Drake del Castillo ! (born in Havana, Cuba, in 1805) and his son Jacques.  In a more ambitious project, Drake del Castillo added the north wing and its keep in the neo-Gothic style and thus tripled the living area. A chapel dedicated to Saint Clare in homage to Charlotte Claire Spitz, Santiago’s second wife, was built in the park, flanked by a building housing a girls’ school ; this school, once closed and refurbished, served as accommodation to the director of the gunpowder factory and another in which a hospice is installed. All these works took place between 1864 and 1867 In February and March 1871, several rooms of the castle were occupied by Prussian officers while the stables were requisitioned to house their horses. Jacques Drake del Castillo, eldest son of Santiago, notably developed the culture of the vine there by adopting modern cultivation and winemaking methods which earned him awards in the agricultural competitions ; Art lover, he owns in Candé and in his Parisian hotel several paintings by Claude Monet, of whom he was a friend, and Edgar Degas, he organized, in 1899 , and for Touraine, the ceremonies of the centenary of the birth of Honoré de Balzac. The meal that closes these celebrations takes place at the Château de Candé

Jean Drake del Castillo is the son of Jacques, who takes over the reins of the estate after his defeat in the municipal elections of 1925, he leaves Candé definitively and settles in Cannes where he frequents artistic and social circles, befriending Gary Cooper and Raimu, In 1927, Charles Bedaux, a wealthy Franco-American industrialist, and his American wife, Fern, bought the castle from Jean Drake del Castillo, who was forced by serious financial problems following the risky management of his heritage. to gradually sell all of his properties, Candé being the last from which he separates, The new owners demolished the vestibule built by Santiago Drake del Castillo, and especially endeavors to modify the interior layout by reconciling modernity, comfort and aesthetics.

It was in Château de Candé that the “marriage of the century” between the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson was celebrated on June 3, 1937. The civil marriage was pronounced in the castle library for the occasion, the two spouses engraved their first names and the date on a panel in the library, with a pyrography device specially purchased by Charles Bedaux, then the religious marriage is celebrated in the music room , No member of the Royal Family of England is present at this marriage From June to September 1940, part of the castle is made available to the American Embassy, ​​so that it can retreat there, In 1951, Fern Bedaux decides to donate the castle and part of its furniture to France, reserving the usufruct until her death, which occurred in 1972, Fern’s personal effects were bequeathed to friends, according to her will, and the State regained possession of her gift, but transferred ownership to the general council of Indre-et-Loire in 1974 , The castle and its domain have been open to the public since 2000; they also regularly host cultural events. Since 2014, at the request of the council he department of Indre-et-Loire, the Mobilier national is gradually putting the original furniture back in place, taking as a reference an inventory carried out at the request of Charles Bedaux in 1930, after the completion of the renovation and furnishings he had commissioned with his wife. Two-thirds of the furniture, made available, has returned to its place. At the same time, the tapestry and decor workshops of the Mobilier national have identically remade the curtains of several rooms inaugurated in July 2018.

Monts chateau de cande side road nov22

 The official Domaine de Candé :

The local Loire valley tourist office on Candé: t

The town of Monts and its heritage :

There you go folks, this is what road warrior trips in my belle France are all about, finally it hit you, missing on a property but as said, I will be back, the story seems too interesting to let it go for just an introduction. The Château de Candé is unique and worth the detour me think. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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