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.

Thursday 12 June 2008

Richelieu carriage gates

Most of the large houses in Richelieu are fitted with a standard design carriage gate that gives access to the court behind.  These monster oaken gates allow the passage of a carriage with two horses (plus postillion) or a mounted rider.  As the main gates are so large, a pass door is provided for general foot passage, and this is fitted into one of the main leaves.  The design is adapted to suit various heights of opening, sometimes with the top panel fixed, sometimes with it integral to the main leaves.  There are one or two gates still from the 1630s, but most must have been recreated to the original design.  As 1630 is  380 years ago, most of these doors may have been replaced more than once.

The two drawings below have been recreated in digital format from a hand-drawn set produced in 1943 (presumably during the occupation of Richelieu by the German army) by a certain J. Brandon of the Centre de Recherches sur les Monuments Historiques.

Double/right-click on the drawings and they will come up nice and big in their own window.
This is true of all this blog's images, which are about 900 pixels wide on average at 72dpi.


Susan said...

You say the doors are monster, but I've always been struck by how narrow they are. Convincing a horse to go through a gap like that is not always easy, and the turn for a carriage seems quite sharp.

Anonymous said...

I am always very hesitant before saying that His Eminence has got a dimension 'wrong'. His 'créatures' are everywhere (see the The Three Musketeers). It says 'trois toises de largeur' in the standard specification, so it had better be three toises even if I have to get a smaller carriage, more co-operative horses or sell the fat BMW for a 'deux chevaux'.

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