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 30 April 2013

The T & B's 'vin d'honneur' at the townhall, and a film-set town - empty for once!

Mayor Novelli receives his gift from the T & B Master, David Cole-Adams

the Grande Rue cleared out for aerial drone film photography

Dalek trees cannot climb stairs
but they ARE a bit creeepy....
The Eminence Rouge would have been pleased by your company's visit and the excitement that you all brought to his cité idéale and even the young Abbé Henri Proust 'imself!


Wednesday 17 April 2013

Bienvenue! les Tylers et Bricklayers



the company's web site introduces the visit
Next week, the little town of Richelieu will host the visit of a 30-strong party from the City of London's TYLERS and BRICKLAYERS company, one of the city's hundred or so livery companies - compagnonnages  in French.  They will stay at the hotel, the Puits Doré - located in the market square - and make expeditions to local destinations, some within the cité idéale itself.  They will sample the sumptious luxuries of the Touraine table.

They will bring the best wishes from the Lord Mayor of London
Alderman Roger Gifford
Mayor Hervé Novelli.

They are all welcome.

 one or two buttons that take you to pages that might help orientate the curious visitor:

Friday 12 April 2013

a cottage restored intra!muros

the cottage façade
 The ideal town of Richelieu is packed with 17th century buildings large and small.  In the small square called place Nicholas Lemercier, one of the more modest houses has just been restored with its façade completely renovated.  It has a rather picturesque first floor gable window with an unusual semi-elliptical masonry cap.  Perhaps this stonework has given problems of damp infusion, so over the years the roofers have constructed a simple tiled pitch on a timber sub-structure on the top to protect it.
The result is happy!
the pretty window restored

Thursday 11 April 2013

Another 'pepperpot' gets a makeover

as it was...

Apparently a Swedish pair have bought the Northern pepperpot of the western-side old town gate that leads towards the town's now-redundant station.  We had assumed that this building was part of M. Deplaix's Renault garage - probably because of the huge Renault sign attached to its southern façade.  But who knows?  The residence that had been attached to the northern side of the pepperpot has been demolished leaving the old town wall more visible than before.  Has Bâtiments de France required the demolition of this non-descipt later extension in return for permission to carry out the restoration of the 17th century pepperpot itself?  

We'll all see as the project develops.

The newly exposed northern face

The pepperpot itself from the street

The junction of pepperpot and the newly exposed town wall

Laying the new floor for la Halle

As spring 2013 finally arrives and the temperatures rise sufficiently to allow concrete laying, the new floor of the Halle has now been laid.  Originally(1640) this floor would have been of simple beaten earth, and with all those animals must have been quite 'picturesque'.  The 2013 solution is a modern version of beaten earth that is a bit stronger and more hygienic. 

A big expansion joint bisects the plan at half-way - is this enough? There were insufficient expansion joints placed in the layout of the place du Marché paving and it is already showing cracks.

The level of the floor has been dropped to a lower and more 'authentic' level - rather as in Ur of the Caldees or Babylon, floor levels always rise so that heavy material does not have to be removed...