Saturday, February 25, 2012

Medieval Chinon - Favourite Castle Of Henry II

Medieval castles come in all shapes and sizes; some are still in tact, others in ruins, some well known and some you've never heard of before. There are thousands of medieval castles around the world, each with its own story to tell.

One of the most fascinating and famous of all medieval castles has to be the fortress at Chinon in the Loire Valley, France.We were fortunate enough to visit Chinon last Spring and what an experience it was! The fortress occupies a fabulous location high up above the river Vienne, offering stunning views for many miles out across the French countryside and the ruins have been lovingly preserved, some even restored such as the Royal Quarters.

The history of the fortress at Chinon is incredibly colourful.There was a stronghold on the site as far back as AD 954 and many famous historical figures have been associated with the site over the centuries including:

King Henry II of England
Eleanor Of Aquitaine
Richard The Lionheart
Jacques du Molay (Knights Templar Grand Master)
Charles VII (Dauphin Of France)
Joan Of Arc

Henry II died at Chinon and was buried at nearby Fontevraud Abbey. When Henry's heir and successor Richard I (Richard The Lionheart) died in 1199 he too was buried at Fontevraud Abbey, at his father's feet by his own request. Just 5 years later, his mother Eleanor died and was buried alongside her son and husband. You can see all 3 tombs together at the Abbey.

Our visits to Chinon and Fontevraud Abbey are amongst the most memorable we have ever made to a medieval site and we are delighted to share with you a high definition movie/slideshow which we have painstakingly put together from the photographs taken on our visits. Thanks go to Stephen Caudel for provision of the music soundtrack. Here is our Chinon video

We also have a detailed profile on the history of Chinon castle and large photo gallery now on our website.

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