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, 1 October 2007

Fragments of the Cardinal's Château 're-used'







When Cardinal Richelieu's castle was demolished in the 1820s, the building fabric was sold on, as we would say now, to 'architectural salvage'.  Thus over a large area at the range of an ox-waggon from the Cité Idéale, fragments of the castle were incorporated into all sorts of buildings.  Cut stone-work would no doubt be found in many a farmhouse; a mantle from a fireplace in a country house; some fragments, for example a complete grand doorcase, are on show today in the town's museum. It is thought that these keystones, incorporated into one of the town's grander houses built at the time of demolition, were taken from the château.  
Le Magnifique Chasteau de Richelieu was encrusted with every sort of sculpture, a particular passion of the classically-obsessed Cardinal, and these re-used keystone blocks portray Classical or French heros of ancient times.

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