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.

Monday, 27 January 2020

Mayor Hervé Novelli stands down in preparation for the March 2020 Mayoral Elections.

Hervé Novelli

Mayor of Richelieu

The former Minister and current Mayor of Richelieu brings an end to his local political career. A long chapter of thirty years of his life, which closes, not without emotion.

Last Saturday the speech of the ceremony 'Wishes of the Mayor' ended with a long ovation from the room standing in front of Mayor Hervé Novelli, who at that point could no longer hide his tears. Many friends of the former Minister took out the handkerchiefs too, sharing this momentary highlight: the end of a chapter of more than thirty years.

Memories evidently jostled in the mind of one who had arrived in Richelieu at the end of 1982, following the sudden death of his father, to take over the small family business of manufacturing artificial limbs, which he then came to manage and develop for a quarter of century.

Even if he simultaneously managed to lead a Departmental, then National political career, including three and a half years in Government, the creator of the 'Statute of the Individual Entrepreneur' always kept in his heart his adopted Commune of Richelieu, there for four terms; as an Advisor, then an Assistant, then finally as Mayor for eleven years from 2008.

The unfinished dream of the famous eponymous cardinal, Richelieu is a city on a Human Scale which seduces with its 'magic side', but nonetheless requires a lot of energy to sustain its charm and its tourist appeal. And, at the time of the evaluation of his achievements, Hervé Novelli now has many happy memories. He had waited for the completion of the renovation of the Village Hall to organise his 'Wishes of the Mayor' ceremony, on the day after the construction site completed, as if to tick one more box in the list of his team's achievements.

Even at a time when the countryside is de-populating, it is not easy to act in a Municipality of only 1800 inhabitants; one with 118 registered or classified monuments, so the balance sheet of achievements turns out to be positive, the more so without any increase in taxation. Richelieu, which had already succeeded in creating an innovative multi-disciplinary Health Centre, has now just recently seen its half-completed by-pass finally completed, itself the climax of a battle that lasted almost fifteen years.

The Voie Verte, or Green Way, connecting Richelieu to Chinon will also remain an important achievement, such as the construction of the new EHPAD (Etablissement d'Hébergement Pour Personnes Agées Dépendantes), to cite only a few significant files of this mayoral mandate.

On the strength of this assessment, Hervé Novelli therefore decided to bow out in 2020. He still has some other responsibilities, in particular for the development of local wine tourism. But, having passed the milestone of the 'three score years and ten', he feels the time has come to pass the Torch, well aware that there is still much to do for his town.

It is certainly not a farewell. "I will always be ready and available to serve Richelieu,"

thanks to Nouvelle Republique

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Bonnes fêtes - Merry Christmas 2019

Christmas fireworks over the ducal park from the Market Square

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

The Cape and Rapier Festival 2018 on U-Tube


Thanks to Malachy
L'Éminentissime cardinal duc de Richelieu

reportage réalise par Claude Méry
photographe et vidéaste

with gratitude!


Sunday, 8 September 2019

The new location of the town's Notary.

The former treasury of the town of Richelieu, where formerly local taxes were levied and paid, is now being restored and renovated as the offices of the town' s new Notary.
It is, thank goodness, one site in the place des Religieuses that is being refurbished, while many of its grand neighbours are either empty, derelict or up for sale. The northern sector of this particular building is in a state of  gross delapidation.  Its price to purchase is absurdly small, but no-one so far wants to take on the cost of restoration of the Grade 1 protected part-hôtel particulier.

The former public functions of this building have been transferred to an office in Île Bouchard, a few kilometres away.


Saint Anne teaches the young Virgin to read

The statue has been restored, particularly the support stone that was formerly fractured and decaying.


The half completed by-pass - September 2019

September 2019: The civil engineering works to complete the town's by-pass continue apace. All should be complete by the year's end. An end to the endless daily procession of huge euro-trucks that lumber noisily past the 400 year-old girdling walls of the Cité Idéale.  Two thirds of this controversial by-pass have been completed for more than a decade, so everyone is pleased that, FINALLY, the objective of protecting the historic little town from the logistics assault will shortly be achieved.

The long-standing obstruction - some problems of plant and animal habitat disturbance - have themselves apparently been 'by-passed'.

looking at the round-about at the northern end

looking down the long new road, westward ho

the image to enlarge -
a panorama of the point of the northern junction


Saturday, 4 May 2019

The project starts - the North West tower

for more details about this project

the artisan craftsmen restoration team

along the moat

the bache is erected

getting the right position

awaiting the start of the project - summer 2019

Monday, 11 March 2019

The by-pass to be completed by November

Work starts in mid-March 2019, and the project will be complete in eight months time.
Operational in November 2019.
The RED element of the by-pass, 2.7 kilometres in length, will connect the two already complete sections of SW 1.65 km (1998) and NE 1.99 km (2003).
Finally the noisy heavy trucks will pass the cité idéale at a suitable distance!

25th March 2019
work commences!


Monday, 18 February 2019

The ambition and power of Richelieu

A long lecture in French by the Parisian scholar of the cardinal duc's biography delivered on 18 November 2015.

delivered a conference at the Paris University, ILERI


Friday, 18 January 2019