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, 29 November 2017

Christmas lights are switched on in the streets and squares of Richelieu

La Mairie or Townhall

la halle, or market hall
original photos by A.Proveda - thanks AP; hope you don't mind!

and here is an older picture of the Grande Rue,
empty of traffic, and with an added hornbeam 'avenue'...

same day, different view...


Gustav Eiffel's Chinon railway bridge

Seen here through the autumnal mists hanging over the Vienne river at Chinon, this 1874 bridge was designed by the office of Gustav Eiffel, creator of the lattice-steel Eiffel Tower in Paris. It leads the railway line that came from Tours either to Loudun or towards the cité idéale of Richelieu along the valley of the little river Veude.


Monday, 20 November 2017

rue Sainte Anne

rue Sainte-Anne - Paris 1er

in Paris I!
full of Japanese restaurants, apparently...


Friday, 3 November 2017

Louis XIII - our King of France

Portraits of Louis XIII at the Musée Carnavalet, Paris

Portrait of Louis XIII, King of France (1610-1643)
Philippe de Champaigne, about 1640

Department of Paintings of the Carnavalet Museum – History of Paris

You can currently discover this painting at the Musée du Luxembourg during the exhibition “Rubens, royal portraits” until the 14th of January 2018.


Saturday, 21 October 2017

The restored façade of the town's church, Our Lady of Richelieu

in sunshine

The Eastern front of the church has been restored, and recently the extensive scaffold has been struck, showing off the fine tuffeau façade,
 including the four statues of the evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

Unusually, the church faces West - away from the sunrise and the holy city of Jerusalem  - whats that all about, Cardy & Jacques?
Do we need a Dan Brown to write a mystic story as justification?

A Jesuit-style façade based on Il Gesù in Rome, design by Vignola.


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!