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.

Sunday 22 April 2018

Cheers! and bon appetit! - Braslou Bière

'Clifton Porter', (5.6% alc.), with pasta bolognese
Taste of toffee!

Not filtered,
Not Pasteurised,
refermented in the bottle,
Ingredients: water, malted barley, hops, honey, yeast.


Brasserie de Braslou
5 Les Varennes, 37120 BRASLOU

Restoring the station for the new 'voie verte' cycle path

Richelieu Station was the terminus of a railway line that connected the cité idéale across the Vienne to Chinon and thence onward to Paris. The line was constructed in the 1860s mainly to transport 'white' veal quickly to the hungry markets in Paris. This trade collapsed, and did not really find a significant replacement through the twentieth century, although the line itelf remained a useful passenger line for the local townsfolk. The line held on over the years until 2010 or so. At the end of its life it continued feebly in the amateur stewardship of Trains à Vapeur de Touraine, who has a impressive collection of both locomotives and carriages.

The town has now developed the old trackways to be a easy cycle way to connect the town with Chinon, a neighbour with a strong touristic and historic character that compliments that of Richelieu itself.  While the tracks have been removed and the cycle way laid out, we have all waited to see what is proposed for the few stations along the line.

Below we can see how the Richelieu station is being comprehensively restored and refurbished.

Saturday 14 April 2018

'A small hole has opened in the roof'

The Hôtel Faisan - the Pheasant Hotel - is located on the place du Marché. It has been derelict for a long time - at least since 2004. It is owned by someone who seems unwilling to redevelop if they are required by the town hall and Bâtiments de France to remove the upper second floor 'extension' that offers five windows that overlook the square.  Rather sad signs in dirty windows predicting a 'renaissance' for this building get dustier each year as the whole is neglected.  Windows get broken and the are boarded up, emphasising dereliction in this conspicuous location for the town.

Maybe with one hotel already flanking the square, Le Puits Doré - the Golden Well - viability for a second hotel cannot be justified by the current flow of visitors and tourists.  Who knows?

But dereliction caused by bad weather has caused rot in roof rafters and the collapse of a sector of the tiling.

It really is a shame that a sensible compromise cannot be found to allow the restoration of this building. If the square needs 'correct' façades as an instrument of the town's historic restoration policy, it seems that the Mairie could find some compensatory property advantage elsewhere.


Thursday 12 April 2018

The 'Dome' in the parc of Richelieu

The 'dome' is the last remaining part of the 'avant cour' of the château de Richelieu. It was a large former manège - or horse riding hall - that led through to the exercising yard behind.  Until recently the building was being used as a venue for talks and concerts, located at a comfortable and pretty walk from the cité idéale itself. The original building had been considerably changed in the 19th century as this dome was formerly sandwiched between other modules of the courtyard perimeter, then demolished. Under the management of the Heine family, solid abutments were added to the four corners to make the building stable, and the east and west walls were created and elevated over the 'stumps' of the former flanking pavilions.  It was put back in shape as best could be, very much in the optimistic manner of the ebullient 19th century taste.

The roof in particular has become unstable since the days of the Heine family and now the whole building is currently under restoration.  This year, the August music festival will be obliged to relocate to other premises.

Pictures below show the current state of the works.