I'm not sure we knew much of Jeanne d'Arc before our stay in Chinon - that is to say much more than movies and folk-lore.
I'm sure that I was not aware of the strong connection between Chinon and Charles VII, that is until I saw the amazing bronze statue with the "Maid of Orleans" on horseback in her suit of armour and brandishing a sword in one hand while holding her flag in the other. We stood there looking at the statue for some time in awe. It stands in the area of where Chinon's market is held every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
|Looking up from Chinon's medieval lane ways, this is what you see.|
Looking down from above Chinon are the ruins of Chateau de Chinon. We we were there in 2008 there was a great deal of rebuilding and restoration going on. Unfortunately we didn't get to actually inspect the ruins, nor did we on our visit the following year. Writing this blog has enlarged our knowledge of the places we have visited. It wasn't until we returned and I developed a passion for Joan of Arc's history that I discovered that her meeting with the Dauphin, Charles VII was the turning point in the 100 year war between the French and English. I didn't know that earlier much of the grand chateau was the built during the period (1100s) of Henry Plantagenet. It was also the inspiration for the play/film "The Lion in Winter" very loosely based on the plotting and intrigue between Henry and Eleanor of Aquitaine and their sons, Richard (the Lionheart), John and Geoffrey.
|I could walk these streets and see something new every time.|
Her reward was to be imprisoned and later, burnt at the stake after a lengthy but dodgy trial at the age of 19.
|Wikipedia tells us that there was a portrait of Jeanne d'Arc that has not survived but there are many statues, paintings and stain glass windows depicting her that we have seen in our travels throughout France.|
|Charles VII crowned king of France 1429 at Reims after holding court at Chinon.|
This monument to Jeanne d'Arc is what sent me on a research learn more of her history.
We stood motionless for some time, taking in the detail of Roulleau's work. I then walked around and took photos at many different angles but none can do justice to the actual statue.
|I sometimes wonder if Charles or Jeanne d'Arc walked the streets of the commoners below Chinon Chateau.|
|The Medieval buildings of Chinon hold some intriguing details - you only need to look more closely.|
Walking the streets by day we returned to our B & B Logis Saint Mexme to shower and go out for dinner - we ate in the square at a restaurant with an Italian influence. Walking back home, the streets of Chinon took on a totally different dreamy atmosphere. You wondered what century you were actually in.......
It had been a big day but the next day was to be a visit to the Cadre Noir in Saumur, something that Sue had dreamed of. In her early days, pre-Leon that is - she was a horsey person. She tried to influence me in her passion but I've always preferred two wheels. I have to admit though, to see the precision of these horses and their riders was an experience I'm glad I had the opportunity to have enjoyed the show. Our host at Logis Saint Mexme, Helene organised all the negotiations for Sue. Nothing was too much of an effort to make our stay memorable, so much so that we return next May.
I've asked Sue to do the next "Wednesday in France" at the Cadre Noir. It was her special day.