|View looking west towards Loudun.|
|The Orangerie in the parc de Richelieu.|
|The moated site of the original Château de Richelieu looking SW.|
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.
The new floor is composed of red fired clay carreaux (rectangular), rather than tomettes (hexagonal), being laid here by the masonry firm Miguel Dutemple. They are traditionally laid tight up to each other, without lime mortar pointing. At the end they are swept over with sharp sand which fills all cracks such as are left. The tightness and depth of the tiles keep them all firmly in place, the more so if the edges are constrained at the walls, as in this particular case.
After many, many years, it is now again possible to reach the upper floor of this 1630s guard tower. Restoration work continues, even across Covid-19 pandemic year 2020-21.
Although formerly being in a dilapidated condition, this building is probably the most authentic piece of seventeenth-century construction work in the entire Ville Idéale. This NW corner of the town lay at the extremity of a nunnery that, from the first, served the cardinal duc's New Town. Its ecclesiastical ownership prevented encroachments into the moat beyond by private dwellings or gardens as elsewhere on the three other sides, and allowed the structure to be uniquely preserved in its original format. It must have been part restored in the 19th or 20th century as can be seen in the existing condition of the roof and chimney.
The restoration work has recreated the simple utilitarian character of this defensive building whose real purpose was more symbolic and stylistic than military.
Originally this last remaining part of the château was a gateway through to the equestrian exercise area, and was used as a covered horse training hall (or manège).
|From the east through the trees|
|The avenue of trees from town to château in autumn|
|from the central axis of château's symmetry, looking south.|
|General view across the moat|
|a main window|
|the North oriel window|
|four new casements painted 'oxblood'|
|Statue of the Cardinal-Duc by Ramey, formerly on the Pont Louis XVI in Paris|
|An autumnal view of the 'Dôme'; last remnant of the former château de Richelieu.|
|From the cross-axis point back to the town|
|Up a wind swept side allée|
|Next to the former castle site, looking West|
|A walkway bridge under the plane trees|
|Along the main canal|
|The newly restored 'Dôme', a former manège hall|
thanks Jane, Malachy amd Ali