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 8 December 2019

Bonnes fêtes - Merry Christmas 2019

Christmas fireworks over the ducal park from the Market Square

Wednesday 13 November 2019

The Cape and Rapier Festival 2018 on U-Tube


Thanks to Malachy
L'Éminentissime cardinal duc de Richelieu

reportage réalise par Claude Méry
photographe et vidéaste

with gratitude!


Sunday 8 September 2019

The new location of the town's Notary.

The former treasury of the town of Richelieu, where formerly local taxes were levied and paid, is now being restored and renovated as the offices of the town' s new Notary.
It is, thank goodness, one site in the place des Religieuses that is being refurbished, while many of its grand neighbours are either empty, derelict or up for sale. The northern sector of this particular building is in a state of  gross delapidation.  Its price to purchase is absurdly small, but no-one so far wants to take on the cost of restoration of the Grade 1 protected part-hôtel particulier.

The former public functions of this building have been transferred to an office in Île Bouchard, a few kilometres away.


Saint Anne teaches the young Virgin to read

The statue has been restored, particularly the support stone that was formerly fractured and decaying.


The half completed by-pass - September 2019

September 2019: The civil engineering works to complete the town's by-pass continue apace. All should be complete by the year's end. An end to the endless daily procession of huge euro-trucks that lumber noisily past the 400 year-old girdling walls of the Cité Idéale.  Two thirds of this controversial by-pass have been completed for more than a decade, so everyone is pleased that, FINALLY, the objective of protecting the historic little town from the logistics assault will shortly be achieved.

The long-standing obstruction - some problems of plant and animal habitat disturbance - have themselves apparently been 'by-passed'.

looking at the round-about at the northern end

looking down the long new road, westward ho

the image to enlarge -
a panorama of the point of the northern junction


Saturday 4 May 2019

The project starts - the North West tower

for more details about this project

the artisan craftsmen restoration team

along the moat

the bache is erected

getting the right position

awaiting the start of the project - summer 2019

Monday 11 March 2019

The by-pass to be completed by November

Work starts in mid-March 2019, and the project will be complete in eight months time.
Operational in November 2019.
The RED element of the by-pass, 2.7 kilometres in length, will connect the two already complete sections of SW 1.65 km (1998) and NE 1.99 km (2003).
Finally the noisy heavy trucks will pass the cité idéale at a suitable distance!

25th March 2019
work commences!


Monday 18 February 2019

The ambition and power of Richelieu

A long lecture in French by the Parisian scholar of the cardinal duc's biography delivered on 18 November 2015.

delivered a conference at the Paris University, ILERI


Friday 18 January 2019

Tuesday 15 January 2019

Saint Anne teaches young Mary to read

When the Ideal Town was built in the 1630s, the external girdling walls, the entry gates and the vehicle carriageways themselves were constructed at the Crown's expense.

Louis XIII and Anne d'Autriche, King and Queen of France and Navarre.

The Cardinal also sought to have his new town's children well educated by the Sisters, so he founded nunneries that followed catholic teaching orders.  These convents he located on the western side of the town, furthest away from the little moated river Veude that runs past the town's eastern boundary. The prevailing wind blows the smoke of the town's chimneys, away from the children at school, over the roofs to the east.  The western side of the town still accommodates these schoolchildren today.

The street that accommodated these schooling premises, as well as the church's presbytery, came to be called rue Sainte Anne. Saint Anne was the mother of the Virgin Mary, and in a sense the grandmother of Jesus. In renaissance religious art she is typically shown teaching Mary to read. Just as the Sisters were doing to their charges in the adjacent buildings...

On one of the houses of 'rue Sainte Anne' - at the town's midpoint - there is a statue of Anne and Mary at lessons. It is in a sad state, but restoration has now commenced.

King Louis must have been flattered by the Queen Anne/Saint Anne allusion!

the dedicatee!


Monday 14 January 2019

The young musketeer; “But where are my boots?”

p.s. The King's guards wore blue tabards; the Cardinal Duc's red....


Work continues on the 'Dome' as winter passes

replacing crumbling stonework and 'tuffeau' 
the restored cupola is exposed