Éminence Rouge

The topics of this blog are Armand-Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Duke of Richelieu, and the IDEAL CITY built on his command next to his magnificent CHÂTEAU on the borders of Touraine, Anjou and Poitou, in France.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Earthquake in Richelieu

4.2 on the Richter Scale, the earthquake lasted three seconds and its epicentre was close to Rilly, Parçay and Chezelles, all a few kilometres from the location of the Ideal City of the cardinal duke.

Un séisme d'une magnitude 4,2 a été détecté à 20 km au sud est de Chinon (Indre-et-Loire), selon le Bureau central sismologique français (BCSF), à 12 h 36. 
Moins d'une semaine après le séisme d'une magnitude 5,2 détecté en Charente, jeudi 28 avril, la terre a de nouveau tremblé, mais cette-fois-ci en Indre-et-Loire.
A 12 h 36, exactement, un tremblement de terre d'une magnitude 4,2 a été enregistré à vingt kilomètres au sud-est de Chinon (Indre-et-Loire), selon le Bureau central sismologique français (BCSF), à mi-chemin entre les communes de Chezelles, Rilly-sur-Vienne et Parçay-sur-Vienne.
Let's hope the tectonic plates below are more relaxed after this little adjustment.


Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Coming up.....

The new Music Kiosk, with a twist.

This new band stand is shortly to be insalled in the place Louis XIII, behind the market hall. Made by the town's Frères Merlot, the new kiosk design has a certain clockwise rotational twist that enlivens the zinc-roofed wooden structure.  
It will finally be located in the centre of the northwest quadrant of the renovated garden at the centre of this square, which originally was the location of a nineteenth-century cattle market for the town's trade in white veal to be sent to the Paris market.


Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Brasserie on the place du Marché

the Brasserie Richelieu next to la halle
This fine building dating from the 1830s is occupied by the Brasserie Richelieu. As one can see on the banner on the façade, it has a new owner. We all hope that this change of proprietors can be a 'new dawn' as the other Richelieu cafés and restaurants seem to be in rather a state of flux.  

The Fossé Saint Ange is a shadow of it former self, now open only occasionally; a new pizza restaurant located in the former mercerie on the market square is now established and very busy; the former Café des Sports has been comprehensively remodelled and now is a fine small bistro called Le Chinon; the former pizza restaurant that was located in the Porte de Châtellerault has changed hands and owners (?), and is to be a bar; the much missed Salon de Thé has disappeared down the Grande Rue leaving its former grand presence in the place du Marché sad and empty; the Restaurant Fabio located at the back of la Halle has closed when its proprietor finally retired....

Good luck to all the new enterprises and adieu to our old friends.


Saturday, 16 April 2016

Villandry and Alan Halliday -

A reception was held yesterday at the Château de Villandry where the paintings of Alan Halliday we exhibited. The subjects were mainly inspired by the people, gardens and architecture of Touraine. Villandry lies about 15 miles from the cité idéale of Richelieu. 
Asserted by some as 'the most beautiful garden in the world'!

The Abbé Henri took a stroll afterwards in the famous garden and took these snaps from the gravel terrace walk.

He was struck by the distant garden pavilion

but in some ways his favourite part was the empty 'minerale' parterre below...


Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Friday, 4 March 2016

Another old postcard


Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Myriam soldiers on....

There seem to be signs of life at the Fossé Saint Ange.  Everybody was upset when stormy weather set in domestically; everyone regretting the anticipated loss of a favourite restaurant which always seemed to demonstrate the best qualities of the ville idéale to its cultural visitors.

(...although it was sometimes hard to get a booking...)

Myriam needs our support and patronage, even if these new open days are only 
'the last days of pompeii'!

Myriam tucks in...

the place du Marché Richelieu in February 2016

a view looking north-east
One of the nice things about gridded 17th century neo-classical towns is that they are often actually perceived in the diagonal. Then the forms suddenly are seen in diagonal perspective and orthogonally-aligned buildings fill unexpected vistas; in this case, one of  the rear pavilions of the halle fits between the standardised slate roofs of the other pavilions and an hôtel particulier
One of the characteristics of 17th century French buildings is that each rectangular block of the building's plan has its own 'pyramidal' capping roof - they were not generally linked together until a later 18th century became more exuberant and adventurous in their roof-scape design and engineering.


Sunday, 14 February 2016

What is the collective noun for 'picnic tables'?

…maybe a picnic in the parc de Richelieu with your true-love?…
…is there a table free?…
14 February 2016

Table No.1

Table No.2

Tables Nos. 3 & 4

Table No. 5

Table No.6

Table No.7

Table No.8

Tables No. 9 & 10

Table No.11


Thursday, 11 February 2016

The phantom cardinal-duc

…a huge spooky and shadowy figure appeared...
Le Chasteau de Richelieu
L'Histoire des Dieux et des Heros de l'Antiquité,
avec des Réfléxions morales.
par Mr. Benjamin Vignier - à Saumur
chez Henri Desbordes, imprimeur
& Marchand Librairie
avec privilege du Roy

Benjamin Vignier was the steward in charge of the Château de Richelieu shortly after the cardinal duc's lifetime. He left this detailed description of the palace in 1681, presumably in the lifetime of the second duke. It is the principal written text describing the magnificent building at its apogee and detailing the artistic treasures that it contained, in particular the painting, the statues and busts of Roman antiquities.
click here below

Richelieu in Love
The Youth of Charles 1

This 1850's play about Queen Anne of Austria and her paramour Lord Buckingham was a popular production on the London stage.
click here below