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 20 December 2012

Flip-flop Xmas Tree from OZ

Merry Christmas 2012

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Tuesday 30 October 2012

More pictures of Alice Heine

December 22, 1925
The Associated Press is reporting the death of the Dowager Princess of Monaco. The former Marie Alice Heine died suddenly today in Paris.
The daughter of a New Orleans banker, Alice Heine was born on February 10, 1858. She married the 7th Duke of Richelieu in 1875. He died in 1880.
After his death, Alice married in 1889 to Prince Albert I of Monaco. The new Princess of Monaco sought to establish the principality as a cultural center. Her marriage was not happy one, and in 1902, the couple separated officially, but were never divorced.
Marie Alice was born at 900 Rue Royale in New Orleans' French Quarter. Her French-born father Michael came from a prominent German banking family. He was also a cousin of the German writer, Heinrich Heine. Her mother, Marie-Amelie Miltenberger, was the daughter of a New Orleans architect.
The Dowager Princess is survived by her son, Armand, the 8th Duke of Richelieu.

Portrait by Pierre Auguste Cot

Marie-Alice is buried far from her second husband Albert 1 in Monaco; in the cemetary of Père Lachaise in Paris

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Monday 15 October 2012

Harold Jacobs

The painter, Harold Jacobs, who lives in Ligré, has a decennial reason to celebrate.  Below a link to a u-tube movie about him...
bonne anniversaire!

Thursday 11 October 2012

Tuesday 2 October 2012

The old Grenier à Sel ?

From much before the 17th century, the King of France had raised a tax on his subjects called the Gabelle.  It was a tax based in later years on the supply of domestic salt.  As salt was the principal method of preserving meats, fish or even vegetables, it was a very necessary product for daily life.  The King produced the salt in his own salt farms on the Atlantic to the west, and it was distributed to his greniers à sel - salt 'barns' - located by privilege all over his kingdom.  In this way an important tax that was dependent on domestic consumption was spread to the entire population.

A modern parallel is hydrocarbon fuel duty, where a tax, much higher than the market value of the product itself, is raised on a necessary daily product.  Read Here about this tax in the UK.

The locations of the warehouses that sold the protected royal product were important, as they would required constant visits, and would attract all sorts of other commerces to their side.

When the King, Louis XIII, gave royal patents to the newly-founded town of Richelieu, among other particular benefits to privilege the venture was the re-location of the local grenier à sel for the region. It was moved from the bustling town of Loudun, twenty kilometres away, to the new town of his powerful cardinal duc.

Of course this was not a popular act in the town of Loudun, as it required them to change their habits and make frequent visits to the new but isolated town of Richelieu.

Click here for the history of the salt tax, the Gabelle.

Below we show photos of the 'alleged' former grenier à sel de Richelieu.  (See the 'comment' of Richelieu's historian Marie-Pierre Terrien, below)It has recently been sold by the Sorbonne to a new owner, who prepares to restore it, presumably as a residence.  If one looks at this blog's map of locations (see RHS) there is an indication of where the building is to be found, exactly between the town walls and the ducal château parc, between moat and canal, on the axis that terminates in the statue of the cardinal in the place du Cardinal.
Seems it is more likely one of the ducal parc's many support buildings ... but who knows?

 is a map of the gabelles at a national scale; note that Richelieu is the only town marked in the region; no sign of Loudun for example!


Thursday 27 September 2012

The town's own facebook page!

The Richelieu Tourist office has opened its own Facebook page that will give easy access to up-to-date information on the towns activities.

Monday 24 September 2012

A putto on the town's church

a putto above the entrance to the church - carved in 1635

Sunday 19 August 2012

She scrubs up well

 BEFORE - a rusty Virgin...
The niche located at the north end of rue Henri Proust, on rue de Jarry, contains a statue of Mary, who is celebrated here as the result of successful prayers of inter-muros parishioners of the Richelieu church, itself dedicated to the Virgin.  
These prayers resulted in the saving of the town of Richelieu from an epidemic of Cholera in the 19th century.
Now re-furbished and de-rusted. 

'It's him wot dun it' - Cyr, that is,
just in time for the Assumption of 14 August 2012
Thanks Cyr - she is lovely now; as befits the Virgin Mary!

Cape et Epée 2012 - the movies

the Dark Cavalier...

The little town comes to life with thousands of visitors who enjoy seeing the place inhabited by various bands of historical re-enacters. And having a good lunch together in the market square...

In the evening the jollity continues with dancers and FIRE EATERS?

Sunday 8 July 2012

Fly over Richelieu

Wednesday 4 July 2012

Friday 29 June 2012

Old postcards - la Gare

the 1906 postcard's view today; from a little closer to the station
 a Google Earth version 29 June 2012 - more wide-angle

15 September 1906, a day for your sabots..


Tuesday 26 June 2012

Pictures of the chapel of the Sorbonne

the location of the Sorbonne
Last resting place of the cardinal, the Chapel of the Sorbonne in Paris, is hard to get inside.  So I hope Peter of will not mind the Abbé adding these to our collection of images of the Paris world of the cardinal duc himself.
click here for other posts on the Sorbonne and the cardinal's sepulchre.

The external views of the chapel designed by Jacques Lemercier in the 1620s; the minor façade to the internal court of the Sorbonne, the major to the public square without, both in strict Jesuit manner, following Vignola.

the high altar and the cupola from inside

the tomb of the cardinal complete with his magically levitating cardinal's hat

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Expansion of the town's hotel, the Puits Doré

Click on the small blue letters Puits Doré in the 'labels' at the foot of this post to call up photos of the various stages of the reconstruction.

It is impressive that this small rural hotel has had the entrepreneurial courage to expand into this fully 'listed' rear extension and thus increase its commercial viability by increasing the bed spaces.  In doing so, they were obliged to restore the façades, remove the 19th century commercial shop fronts and incorporate facilities for handicapped people within including a lift.

Good luck Puits Doré - we hope tourists will now flood in.