Le Chateau de Loches, one of Foulque Nerra's castles - Part 1
byon 03-01-2012 at 00:13 (1091 Views)
As this is a first episode of what might be a series, let me first make a small introduction : my parents, a few years ago, moved to a small town in close proximity of Tours. For those who don't know (and that might be most of you), Tours is a town on the river Loire, to the south-west of Paris. Being at the border between the Valois and the Platagenet demesnes at the end of the Middle Ages, it is rich with castles and history.
The Castle that overlooks Loches is a good example of this link between the Chateaux de la Loire and the history of France.
At the end of the Xth century, the castle was made out of wood, as it was common back then. It was then that Foulques III d'Anjou, also known as Foulques Nerra, conquered Loches in his struggle against his ennemy the Count of Blois. In 1013, he had a huge stone keep :
Along with the rest of his demesne, the castle passed along to the Platagenet kings of England. Henri II and Richard I the Lionheart will increase the fortifications, as Philippe II of France laid siege several times. It was finally captured in 1205, and was added to the Valois demesne, as a powerful stronghold.
We jump two centuries and the new master of the Castle of Loches is Charles VII de Valois, dauphin of France. He doesn't like the keep, as it isn't comfortable. So he has the Royal House built :