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.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Can it really be true?

At least two thirds of the main road by-pass of the cité idéale have been completed and are in operation.

The remaining one third segment has been long delayed by environmental battles concerning vegetation loss, although the actual new road alignment itself has been established for a while - Henri P. has ridden the grassy route on a bicycle - and the rights of acquisition settled.

This current situation means that a main traffic artery, recently upgraded for heavy trucks over many kilometres, is only un-up-graded exactly where it passes one of France's national treasures of urban design. Enormous euro-trucks rattle the foundations of the town's 17th century girdling walls, and their raucous engines deafen the inhabitants on the western side of the town as lorries cruise past at any old time, day or night.

So we are gagging with excitement that France's cumbersome bureaucracy seems to have finally 'pulled its finger out' and started this much delayed project.....
But we may be mistaken....
We need confirmation from someone on the ground, at the heart of local politics, that it is really true....
We are sceptical....
But hopeful....

the alignment of the last segment of the town's bypass is started?.....
- a view from the Knauf works roundabout towards Loudun -

All comments will be gratefully received below....

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Views of the 'Dome' in the cardinal's park

a panorama of the 'Dome'; last existing fragment of the cardinal's palace
download to peruse a high definition version 5000 pixels wide

eastern elevation


Saturday, 12 August 2017

Big trees fall in the park

a new clearing in the parc

the foresters tidy up the huge fallen trees

how old, dendochronologists?

the 'electro mill' race, a bit encumbered...

a branch still in the roof of the Bollée ram building

another fallen tree on the grand canal

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

The new gardens at the Château de Chambord

the view at the garden door
The gardens in front of this famous Loire château have been reconstructed. They were opened to the public only on 20 March 2017.  They counter-balance the overbearing scale of the old building as can be seen in these pictures, and help us imagine the leisure of the occupants in their day. The gardens are truely VAST in scale. So are the numbers of trees and plants.

Worth a visit.
Imagine how impressive were the similar gardens of the now-absent château de Richelieu

the Château de Chambord

from the new garden


Friday, 7 July 2017

Fête de Musique de Richelieu

Here is the programme of this, the eleventh, Festival

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Mayor Novelli seeks to lead his troops to the election!

The current mayor of Richelieu encourages his party faithful 
in the Auditoire of the 
cardinal duc's
cité idéale.

p.s. nice box balls, Milady P!


Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Pasta problems......


....that is the question.

France decides....


Some 'jetons' from the 1640s - showing the cardinal duc

These coins from the 17th century, minted during the life of the cardinal duc, are called 'jetons';
a word that means a non-monetary token, such as one might use in a shopping cart today

They have marine scenes on the reverse face celebrating the 'great helmsman' Richelieu, 
who was in any event Head of the royal navy of his day.
They incorporate the coat of arms of the dukes of Richelieu, and the symbol of the Sainte Ésprit, a chivalric order of the ancient régime.

The last jeton (of 1974!) celebrates the foundation in 1640 of 
the Royal Printing Works 
by the cardinal duc and Louis XIII.

Thanks to Wolfgang Roth 
of the ideal city's twin town Schaafheim
in Germany


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Wine festival in Richelieu

A short movie of the recent 2017 wine festival held on
23 April 2017
(St.George's Day: Shakespeare's birthday in 1564)
under the roof of the market hall.


The Dome by night in the parc

Thanks Gala!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

A new wine bar for Pascale and François Plouzeau

14 place du Marché - Cave à vins Plouzeau
 The local wine growers,Pascale and  François Plouzeau have opened a shop in the place du Marché to offer their bio-dynamic wines. The boutique replaces the former estate agent Archard in a rather pretty shop adjacent to the tourist office.

the facade to the square

try a wine here at the zinc bar!


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Brasserie 'Le Richelieu' and the PMU

across the square
This brasserie is at present the main bar and café that looks onto the Market Square. It occupies one of the four nineteenth century pavilions that form the corners of the earlier 17th century market hall. Such pavilions were part of the original design but they were replaced and enlarged in the first decades of the 1800s. The bar  looks to the west and so gets the afternoon sun and attracts a lounging clientele on its external tables.  Inside the bar has a terminal of the PMU betting system and is (I think?) the only bookie in the town intra-muros.

The new proprietors, who took charge quite recently, have referbished the interior and are putting a bit of beef into getting the establishment established, while other immediately local commercial competition such as it is seems to be in a low state.

A facebok page tells of the events organised here, which include bar-room karaoke every so often.

the refurbished interior

the new chairs

lighting and decor

front to the square on a sunny afternoon