Friday, July 05, 2013

Chinon, Just for the History

The Chateau on the hill.
The town of Chinon below.

While I was taking pictures of the dragons, Bill focused on the fortress, chateau and it's history.  In the past ten years, the French government has spent a lot of euros on archaeological digs, cleaning and restorations at Chinon.  They also built a large visitors center and gift shop, while a ramp replaced the tortuous stairs coming up the hill from the town.
The walls are tall and the moat is deep.

Henry II Plantagenet had these building added.

There is a moat running though the middle as well.

Chinon has been a fortress since the Roman's lived here.  Every succeeding group added on, until it is the  large complex you see today.  There is one room devoted to interactive screens showing how the building expanded.  The French have really gone into computer animation and touch screens big time.

There are feature both decorative.......

and functional.

The chateau is famous for being the place where Henry II, Duke of Anjou and King of England, father of Richard the Lionheart and John Lackland, died.  It was here that Joan of Arc met Charles VII in 1429. She convinced him to be crowned King in Reims.  His coronation became a turning point in the Hundred Years War.  In the 17th century, Cardinal Richelieu became the owner and proceeded to build his own chateau in Richelieu using the stones and slate he scavenged from Chinon.
The large fireplace is where Joan and Charles met.  The floor is now missing, so it is very high in the air.  The square holes are where the original floor was installed.

A plaque commemorating the 500th anniversary Joan of Arc meeting with  Charles VII.

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