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.

Wednesday 31 December 2008

Pictures of Schaafheim

The crest of SCHAAFHEIM on the wall of the Town Hall.
Mayor Reinhold Hehmann (left) and our chum Wolfgang Roth (right), the town's archivist
The old Town Hall or Rathaus seen from the tavern 'At the sign of the Ox'
The old chapel linked to the church in the snow
The Evangelical church with the remains of the old town walls in front
The old dairy building

A short description of Schaafheim, the town in Germany twinned with Richelieu


Monday 22 December 2008

Our new correspondent in Schaafheim

Schaafheim's evangelical church and the parsonage alongside

Henri Proust has just become acquainted with Herr Wolfgang Roth, who is the archivist of the German town of Schaafheim, the town twinned with Richelieu since 1989.  He has sent all sorts of information so that Henri P. can do some posts on the subject of the twinned towns on this blog.  Citoyens de Richelieu have just been visiting Schaafheim and we will see those French faces look out in photographs from a very German context, the annual Schaafheimes Weihnachtsmarkt.

The Abbé had earlier noticed a German beer tent at the Richelieu Marché de Noël, and was puzzled that the little town of Richelieu was of such interest to the German brewers.  Now all is explained.  I wonder if the gute Bürger von Schaafheim are, in reflection, a hot spot for AOC Chinon consumption.  One presumes so.

But all the data is in the German language, so the good Abbé, right in the middle of his other Christmas duties, has to dust off his German/English dictionary and get down to it.  Nose to the grindstone.  
Coming SOON.
Merry Christmas to everyone!
Fröhliche Weihnachten!
Joyeux fêtes!

Monday 15 December 2008

The mightier pen

"The pen is mightier than the sword" is a metonymic adage coined by Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839 for his play 'Richelieu; or the Conspiracy'. The play was about Cardinal Richelieu, though in the author's words "license with dates and details... has been, though not unsparingly, indulged." 

The Cardinal's line in Act II, scene II, was more fully:
True, This! —
Beneath the rule of men entirely great,
The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanters wand! — itself a nothing! —
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyse the Cæsars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless! — Take away the sword —
States can be saved without it!
* * *
The text below the image, also drawn from Act II of this play says
"With this I at Rochelle did hand to hand engage the stalwart Englisher."

D-64850 Schaafheim - 45km southeast of Frankfurt-am-Main

View Larger Map
Schaafheim is a small town in Germany that has been twinned with Richelieu since 1989.

Friday 12 December 2008

Three winter pictures

 A A view along the town's moat where, over the intervening 366 years since the construction of the walled town, owners of properties have encroached onto the moat area to form gardens for their properties.
B The tall plane tree avenues have had a haircut this year.  Only in France would the pollarding be so extravagant and spectacular!
C The twin towers of the town's church.  Jacques Lemercier 1635.  The two obelisk-style pinnacles; like everything else in the town duplicated - 'one for the King, one for the Cardinal'.

Wednesday 10 December 2008

14 Grande Rue restoration nears completion

These three views show the garden side of this hôtel particulier - or private mansion - that has been adapted as a set of small apartments for seniors.  One can see the body of the original main house and then the dependances - extensions - that were added to it over the years.  Many of these buildings were until recently in a terrible state and really needed major restoration, such as has happened in this particular case.  It is of course sad that such grand houses cannot stay in individual ownership, but sub-division often occurred in the 17th century shortly after the death of the cardinal in 1642 as his court dissolved to reorganise themselves around the new regime of the young future Roi Soleil, King Louis XIV and his new first minister the cardinal Mazarin; Richelieu's recommendation to the regent dowager Queen Anne of Austria.

If you click on the 'topic' 14GrandeRue found on the column to the right, all the posts concerning this building's restoration will be presented to you, right from the project's beginning.