Monday, 11 August 2014

We Love Loches

The lovely Agnès Sorel rests in peace, tenderly watched over by marble angels in the church of Saint Ours.

A thousand years old, the ruined donjon looms over the town, probably the first stone built defensive tower in France since Roman times, and still the tallest. Donjon = castle keep, not dungeon.

These faithful hounds have sat sentinel on the steps of the Logis Royal for more than 500 years.

This is about as busy as it gets at the Logis Royal, even on a hot summer day.

Looking out over the ruins of the medieval castle.

Ludovico Sforza, the great Renaissance patron of the arts and Duke of Milan, spent his last 4 years in this damp dark cell (= cachot, which comes closer to the meaning of the English word dungeon). A geophys search for his likely burial place has been conducted recently. I don't suppose he realised when he enjoyed time in Leonardo's workshop years before, learning how to paint frescos, that his experience would be put to such a melancholy use.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Susan,

    The keep at Loches is probably one of the oldest in France, but is not one of the tallest, and far from it. It is only 36 meters tall, compared to 52 meters for the one at Vincennes, near Paris, and the one at Crest in southeastern France; and compared to 57 meters [?] for the château de Largoët in Britanny. The largest ever, at 55 meters, was the keep at Coucy, northern France, before it was blown up by the retreating Germans in 1917.

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  2. chm: I'll have to check my source on what the weasel word for Loches tallness is then.

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