So, we’ll continue our journey back to his beloved Kings of the Loire Valley (see top of article N11-12). Our way lies in the ancient Losch (Loches). Stone bulk Loshskogo castle is visible from afar. This fortress has long inspired fear of the enemies of the kingdom. Two kilometers of the highest walls and towers to protect a beautiful royal palace (Logis Royal), built in the XIV century. This is where the French king Charles VII receives militant Joan of Arc after her victorious march on Orleans.
Remembers Loshsky palace and another woman, Agnes Sorel, mistress charming Charles VII. King can see this beauty drove many men crazy. After five centuries, and their admiring cries reached us: “It is, in truth, was the most beautiful young women” – says the author Martiniyskoy record. “It was the most fascinating woman of the kingdom – says Jean Leclercq. Even Pope Pius II could not help but say:” She was the most beautiful face, what you can imagine. ”
Besides the beauty, Agnes differed a great extravagance. There has been much gossip about the new models introduced by the royal favorite. Agnes refused spacious tunics that hid her shape and prefer long dresses, tight-fitting shape. On the court festivities in the castle Loshskom she appeared in a dress with a neckline that is quite surprised others: one covering the breast, Agnes coquettishly bared another. It was in this dress, we see her in the famous portrait of Jean Fouquet. This fashion has led to the astonishment of the Queen Mary and caused anger ladies, at least some part of them.
Agnes Sorel died in 1450 so unexpected that many people began to attribute her death poisoning. Even found guilty. They became the dauphin, the future King Louis XI. In all this story is true is that the heir to the throne fiercely hated his father’s mistress, and one day, coming out of themselves, even weighed her face. The most beautiful woman of the XV century was buried in the chapel of the castle Loshskogo where you now can see her grave.
When Louis XI Castle gained notoriety in prison for state criminals. The most famous prisoner was Cardinal Losha Balyu. For 10 years, this old man lived on the heels of grim iron cage, forcing shudder with horror even by his jailers. In prison he was sometimes visited by the king, who loved to chat with the disgraced courtier. The Cardinal, however, deserved an iron cage. The son of a miller, showered with honors and titles, by the grace of Louis XI, he eventually gave the king for his worst enemy of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. After 10 years, at the request of Pope Sixtus IV, Louis XI did release the Cardinal and the rest of life Balyu hold in the comfort of a Roman palace.
Far-sighted politician, endowed with exceptional intelligence, Louis XI was on friendly terms with the rulers of Italian states. Therefore, the duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza, Ludovico and his son to visit France. When the young Ludovico, hunting in the woods Losha seen towering in the distance the silhouette of the fortress, he could not imagine that this is where he will spend in prison his last years. At the time, like all the young princes, Ludovico only dreamed of glory.
Years later, the ruler of Milan, Ludovico will receive a dukedom and the nickname of Moro, whether because of a dark complexion, or because the coat of arms depicting the mulberry (in Italian “moro”). It will be beautiful Beatrice d’Este husband and friend of Leonardo da Vinci. But then break out in Europe, the Italian war and Ludovico Moro become a prisoner of the French king Louis XII.
In Loshe you will be his prison in the tower Martel – a narrow, low ceiling, barely lit by a window grate. It will hold Duke in custody for several years, painting the walls of his prison issued him a painting. Even today it can be seen with his hand painted coat of arms (the famous mulberry), a helmet and a sort of signature “disgruntled.” He tries to escape by hiding in a cart with straw, but it will give an Italian accent; Duke caught near the castle in the woods loshskom. In 1506, after learning that the prisoner’s health deteriorated, Louis XII will return him to freedom. But when a sick old man to open heavy doors, he saw the bright sun and the smell of freedom, happiness was too great. He fell dead at the door of his dungeon.
Another famous prisoner – the Comte de Saint-Vallier, the father of the familiar Diane de Poitiers, also finds joy Losha. However, the beautiful Diana beg his forgiveness for Francis I, paying for it is only a smile.
From the majestic and a little grim Losha we go to the most beautiful gardens in France. France is rich with wonderful examples of landscape architecture. But what you see in the castle of Villandry (Villandry), will surpass all expectations.
Beech and tissovye shoots, flower beds and shrubs provide color mosaic, different, depending on the season. Many plants were brought here from Italy in the Renaissance. Ground floor front of the castle, situated on three levels, covered with a complex geometric pattern. But this is not just abstract shapes – a vegetable allegory, understandable for people of the XVI century. Now, perhaps, they should be decoded. Here are a fan of purple gently fragrant violets – a symbol of happy love, beside the scarlet heart, a little further tissovy green cross – the symbol of fidelity. But the branched horns (this figure does not need to be explained) and, as an inevitable consequence, cross swords knightly combat.
I think you’ll want to take away in his pocket a small piece of the miracle. The fact that the castle you can buy the seeds of flowers that grow in this magical garden.
Chateau Villandry is situated very close to the noisy Tours (Tours). This city – the famous religious center of France. In the IV century, there lived and preached St. Martin – the bishop of Tours. The French call him the Apostle of Gaul.
When, in 397, Martin died in the neighboring county of Poitou, who believe the county stubbornly refused to leave his remains. In order to restore historical justice, the inhabitants of the Tour was stolen during the night of his mortal body of the bishop, having lowered it with ropes through the window of the church.
Basilica of Saint-Martin, where the saint is buried, a place of pilgrimage for many believers and tourists. In addition to the basilica in the city’s many other historical monuments of XII century Abbey of Saint-Julien, Cathedral La Cathedrale XIII century, the monastery of the XV century La Psalette, XV century church of Notre-Dame-La-Riche.
In the Tour lovers of antiques can be endlessly admire stained glass windows, spiers, gables and Gothic cathedrals terrible chimeras.
On the medieval times, finally forget, being only 7 km from Tours, in the castle of Luynes (Luynes).
In 1619, during a trip to the Loire, this castle buys Duke Charles de Luynes, the chief huntsman of France and the favorite of Louis XIII.
De Luynes travels in the society of the emperor, who fascinated by the beauty of this area. And de Luynes says that the king would be happy to go here, reviving the tradition of his great predecessors. But Charles was wrong. Louis XIII stayed until his death Parisian.
King was a friend of de Luynes since childhood. Growing up, he will have an invaluable service to his sovereign – kill the lover of the Queen Mother Marie de Medici – The death of the hated Concini. However, it is de Luynes inherit most of the great state of death.
In 1617 Charles married. His choice was the daughter of the Duke Monbazona, seventeen-year-Marie de Rohan. In the history of it will remain under the name of the Duchess de Chevreuse.
Marie is known for his friendship with Anne of Austria, she pushes it into the arms of Queen Bekingema. In 1621 De Luynes died and beautiful wife, Mary becomes the Duke de Chevreuse. She never returned to the castle Luynes, but we’ll meet with her on the banks of the Loire.
They say that the happiest marriages are made in heaven, but in France they may be, and in castles, in such instance, as Castle Langeais (Langeis). It was built by order of Louis XI, under the supervision of the Treasurer Jean Bourret, keeping intact the huge ancient dungeon.
A cold December day in 1491 on the street a small town in the direction of Langer moved to the castle a magnificent procession. In the center of a brilliant cavalcade sailed a stretcher, where the cushions spread over a young girl, wrapped in black velvet and sable. She was fifteen years old. She is beautiful, at least, so say those who sought her hand. Her name was Anna. She was the ruler of the Duchy of Brittany, and arrived in Langeais, to become his wife, the young King Charles VIII. The path to the marriage was not without difficulty. From childhood, Charles VIII was betrothed to Princess Margaret, who was crying now, all left in the castle of Amboise.
At the very Anna, too, was the groom, father of this very Margarita, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian. But Brittany, which is owned by Anna after the death of his father, Duke Francis, tidbit too. So decided regent of the kingdom, Anne de Lord, sister of the minor Charles VIII.
Anne of Brittany, in truth, more attracted to the crown of the Empress. But the French were so diplomatically, and presented the troops so significant that they were able to change the opinion of Anna.
At a meeting in Karl Langer found that the young Duchess is very beautiful. What she decided we do not know. In the large hall of the castle, where now you can enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of the time, Anna signed the marriage contract, which connected France and Brittany forever. This scene is reproduced with historical accuracy with the help of wax in one of the halls.
In the overheated room of the castle brought to the marriage bed, decorated with pure gold and red taffeta, which the bride brought with her from Brittany. They were left alone, but in the next room, according to the custom of the time, settled six burghers. It is thanks to them, we know that the royal couple’s wedding night was very stormy.
This marriage, so happily begun, ended tragically in the castle of Amboise. As a result of the accident was the widow of the young queen. “I lost everything – life, and happiness,” – wrote to Anna.
She was wrong. The new king, Louis XII, a deceased cousin of Charles, have long loved a beautiful Breton. True, he was married to a good and, unfortunately, ugly Princess Joan. But in love with a man capable of much, especially if he is the king. Having a divorce from the Pope, he made in 1499 by Queen Anne of France a second time.
Leaving Langeais look back, maybe in one of the windows of the castle for you to glimpse the beautiful smile of a queen.
In the mistress of the neighboring castle Azey-le-Rideau (Azay-Le-Rideau) was not so fortunate.
This castle was built in 1527 for his wife Philippa Loeb royal treasurer Gilles Berthelot. But alas, as so often happens, Berthelot mixed his pocket with a pocket state. He had to flee from France, and Philip King of the castle to give Francis I.
Azey preserved to this day almost unchanged. Its architecture embodies the ideals of the Renaissance: a set of towers and turrets, two wings, which harmoniously combines elements of French and Italian architecture. From May to September, are held in the castle plays with moralizing story about the dangers of embezzlement.
All the way up to Azeya Ussé (Usse) you will not leave the feeling of reviving tales. The white walls of the castle Ussé, towering over the valley, where the Indre flows into the Loire, are very similar to the abode of fairies.
With its medieval proportions, and blue turrets at the corners, as it were out of the magical world of dreams. It was the site of the Ussé tales of Charles Perrault’s “Sleeping Beauty”. At a time when Perrault saw the local castle, came into fashion palaces like Versailles. And towered Ussé was immersed in a dream that seemed eternal.
The same thing happened with the lock Monpupon (Montpoupon). Surrounded by a deep moat, lined with black tiled roof, it is quite Perrot went to the home of the Cannibal “Puss in Boots.” So, when you will go in the direction of Ussé Chinon, try to ask the opposite: “Whose woods, Whose is the plow?”. Maybe you and answer: “Marquis Carabas.”
Chateau Chinon (Chinon), which lies at the junction of Provincial Touraine and Anjou, may now serve as a backdrop for films about the era of chivalry. This handsome white castle tops of the towers which are decorated with pale blue tiles, is still proudly bears the crown of the former glory and greatness.
He was laid on a high hill at a time when the kingdom was only appearing. Then here came earls of Blois, but the main role in its construction belongs to the Counts of Anjou, who in 1044 erected the first stone of the wall. They were the real builders, the Count of Anjou. When they land enriched by the numerous Loire castles.
In 1129 a young Geoffrey, Count of Anjou was celebrating his marriage to Matilda, daughter of King Henry I. Soon they had a son, who was named in honor of his grandfather Henry. He had been held in Anjou, lovely quiet places, among the low hills covered with gorse. Young Henry loved to decorate his helmet a sprig of gorse, the local dialect called “genesta plantations.” Hence the nickname of his Plantagenet. In 1154, as a result of complex dynastic vicissitudes and a long bloody war, Henry II becomes King of England.
By the time the king had twenty years of a rich wife. His wife Eleanor was, perhaps, the richest woman in Europe. The size of the Duchy of Aquitaine is not much inferior to the French kingdom. Since we have already met Eleanor in the castle BEAUGENCY, where she expected divorce from her first husband, French King Louis VII.
Being married to Eleanor, Henry II annexed to the English a good third of the kingdom of France. The King of France tried to protest. The new king of England in response to a smile.
Chateau Chinon became the stronghold of the mighty England on the continent. Henry II of England is building most of Chinon. He loves this castle, which is not his wife, Eleanor.
However, the king and queen for a long time ill get along together. These two are so passionately loved once, now just as passionately hate each other. But they get older sons – hope the English kingdom. Preoccupied with their own affairs, Henry rarely sees children, they grew up under the wing of Eleanor. And when in 1173 the sons of Henry II made war against his father, the Queen did not hesitate stood on their side. The war led by Eleanor’s favorite son – Richard the Lionheart.
Once captured Eleanor in the castle of Chinon forces her husband. She was sent to England, and will conclude in the tower of Salisbury. And the war will last a long sixteen years, ending only with the death of the king. Henry II died in 1189, abandoned by all, in your favorite Chinon. Becomes King of England, Richard the Lionheart. He frees his mother and go to the crusade.
But he was destined to die will be here in Chinon. His death was ridiculous. Besieging the castle rebellious vassal, he was wounded in the shoulder by an arrow. Gangrene. Richard wanted to be transported to Chinon, where the aging Eleanor own hand, closed his eyes.
His brother John, who became King of England in 1199, according to his lack of talent to lose almost all French land, for what will go down in history as the Landless, and Chinon will return to the French crown.
A hundred years later, in 1308, Chinon has witnessed yet another drama. King Philip IV the Fair of France chose a prison for locking the Knights Templar. The walls of the keep in this part of the castle, which bears the name of Coudray (Fort du Coudray), still keep their mystery writing.
May 14, 1314 the Templars and their Grand Master Jacques de Molay, were burned alive in Paris. Fire from the flame, Jacques de Molay cursed the king and his posterity.
The trouble was not long to wait for a year the king died. Soon, from London came the bad news – the young English King Edward III claimed the French throne itself. Began the Hundred Years War.
Again, Chinon had become a place where one of the highlights was played out scenes in a play called “The Hundred Years War.”
This war was very unfortunate for France. By the end of 1428, Paris, and almost the whole kingdom was seized by the British. The French king Charles VII was only a handful of castles along the banks of the Loire. The king himself, together with the General Council, located in Chinon. However, this does not prevent him to lead an idle life, with feasts and hunts. One of his best knights throws once the young king: “Excuse me sir, but I have never seen a king who would be so fun to lose his kingdom.”
One day a girl in the castle appears, dressed in a suit. It comes in a large throne room and goes to the throne, but seeing that it is empty, turns around and goes to the crowd of courtiers, directly to the king.
Prior to this, the weak and weak-willed man she kneels and says: “My name is Joan of Arc, and I tell you that the King of Heaven to crown you asked me in the city of Rheims.”
Soon Joan Orleans free to begin the revival of France. It will take years. For Chinon comes time to calm kings will stop here just passing through. Louis XIII presents it as a gift to Cardinal Richelieu and the lock will live the memories of its glorious past.