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 27 January 2021

NW Corner Tower - The new floor is laid

 The new floor is composed of red fired clay carreaux (rectangular), rather than tomettes (hexagonal), being laid here by the masonry firm Miguel Dutemple. They are traditionally laid tight up to each other, without lime mortar pointing. At the end they are swept over with sharp sand which fills all cracks such as are left. The tightness and depth of the tiles keep them all firmly in place, the more so if the edges are constrained at the walls, as in this particular case.


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Wednesday 20 January 2021

The north-west tower now receives its inner staircase

After many, many years, it is now again possible to reach the upper floor of this 1630s guard tower. Restoration work continues, even across Covid-19 pandemic year 2020-21.  

Although formerly being in a dilapidated condition, this building is probably the most authentic piece of seventeenth-century construction work in the entire Ville Idéale.  This NW corner of the town lay at the extremity of a nunnery that, from the first, served the cardinal duc's New Town. Its ecclesiastical ownership prevented encroachments into the moat beyond by private dwellings or gardens as elsewhere on the three other sides, and allowed the structure to be uniquely preserved in its original format.  It must have been part restored in the 19th or 20th century as can be seen in the existing condition of the roof and chimney.

The restoration work has recreated the simple utilitarian character of this defensive building whose real purpose was more symbolic and stylistic than military.



Wednesday 13 January 2021

The Dôme in the parc - part of the chateau's original horse 'manège'

Originally this last remaining part of the château was a gateway through to the equestrian exercise area, and was used as a covered horse training hall (or manège).

It was flanked, east and west, by other matching buildings that together enclosed the inner arrival court.

From the east through the trees

The avenue of trees from town to château in autumn

from the central axis of château's symmetry, looking south.


in Covid-19 lockdown - January 20221