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.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Le Moulin à Vent - Richelieu's wind-mill

The cité idèale of Richelieu was built on a marshy area of low lying land that was available for the cardinal at the time of the foundation of the new town in the 1630s.  The river Veude has many mediaeval water-mills along its length, but these were situated a couple of miles or more away from the town.

Maybe the absence of water-mills immediately close-by caused the construction of a fine wind-mill on the high ground to the north west (see the location on the Google map on the right). This old and impressive stucture sits bang on the high point, and while the stone drum does not have its sails any more, much of the impressive structure remains.

Here's another 17 century French wind-mill to see how the sails might have been originally. This one is at Saint Roch in Provence. Note how the glacis is necessary to allow the swing of the sails without braining the miller or even worse the pretty miller's daughter - die schöne Müllerin - the object of much mediaeval fascination (she was a real rural heiress if she had no brothers to come before her!)

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