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Chateau de Chinon

French Castles-Chinon : Chinon is perched majestically above the Seine River and if you want a truly spectacular view then I suggest visiting the little park just across the river from the Château before you cross the main bridge into town. Late afternoon with the sun shining on the Château is truly memorable.

 

Chateau de Chinon

Chateau de Chinon

Château de Chinon, was the primary residence of the King of France from 1417 to 1450 and prior to that was the primary residence of the King of England from 1154 to 1205. It has been occupied by Geoffrey Martel, compte d’Anjou, Henri II Plantagenet who became King of England in 1154, Philippe Auguste who as King of France built a wall around Paris and the fortress we know as the , and finally Charles VII.

The Château du Milieu (Middle Castle) contains the Clock Tower. The Clock Tower’s bell, named Marie-Javelle, has been tolling on the hour since 1399. Here in the tower you will also find the Jean d’Arc Museum.

chateau chinon

Jean d’Arc Museum at the Château de Chinon

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I particularly liked the old poster that had the verses to a song which tells the history of Jeanne d’Arc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although not on the grand scale of the Aubusson tapestries found at the Chateau d’Angers, Chateau du Milieu has an Aubusson 17th century tapestry depicting Jeanne d’Arc being received by Charles VII in 1429 when she sought to take him to Reims to be crowned King of France.

Aubusson tapestry

Aubusson tapestry

 

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La Tour de l’Horloge (clock tower)

Inside workings of the clock.

Inside workings of the clock.

There are multiple towers found at Château du Chinon along its 150 meters (492 feet)of ramparts.

The Coudray Tower, from the 13th century, is 25 meters (82 feet) tall and with walls that are 3.95 meters (13 feet) thick.  You can still see the graffiti left on the walls by the Knights Templar who were imprisoned here in 1308.

Jaques de Molay (1243-1314) who was the last Grand Master of the Royal Order of Templars was imprisoned at the royal palace of Chinon also left graffiti on the walls where he was imprisoned. It is protected by a glass plate to preserve it.

 

Chateau de Chinon graffiti

Chateau de Chinon Coudray Tower graffiti

The Argenton Tower (15th century)  was used as a prison in the 17th century and you can also see the graffiti here that was left by prisoners.

The Mill Tower has a rose window and the Boisy Tower (13th century) has machiolations at the top. Other towers include the Latrine Tower and the Dog Tower which may have housed the royal hounds.

Definitely take the time to climb the towers and/or the ramparts when you are at Chinon. The views are spectacular. Our day turned from partly cloudy to light rain and even through the rain the views were beautiful.

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