We went for an exhibition in Langeais, and, it’s unusal, we have time to discover a part of the Touraine region. We start with Langeais visit.
Along the Loire river, Langeais was conquered on the late 10th century by Foulque III Nerra (which means “le Noir” – black, because of his dark skin), count of Anjou from 987 since 1040, during the numerous wars against count of Blois for the control of the Touraine. The first castle was built at this era.
During the following years, Langeais is conquered by both sides, and, in 1044, the city became a Plantagenêt fief and finally became an English province.
In 1206, Langeais return to the kingdom of France.
During the Hundred Years War, the english destroyed the castle, and only a frontage has survived, now called “Foulque Nerra’s dungeon”.
The castle was rebuilt between 1465 and 1469 by orders of Louis XI. Anne de Bretagne, duchess of Brittany, and Charles VIII, king of France, wedding was celebrated in the castle of Langeais on Decmber 6th 1491, and the Duchy of Brittany became a France part e few years later.
Unlike the others castles of the Loire Valley, Langeais keep its medieval characteristics, like the drawbridge. This time, we can’t visit the castle, because we could be late for the exhibition installation, but we had time to walk in the old town.
A little alley drive us to the top of the hill, and go throught the forest along the castle garden.
We ended this little walk with the Saint Jean Baptiste church, built in the 11th and 12th centuries, except the nave (15th century) and the transept (19th century).
One final word about the Langeais bridge, which was reconstructed 4 times in 150 years ! The bridge is open for the first time in 1842, but, in 1859, a storm destroyed it. In 1851, it open for the second time, but not for a long, because during the 1870 war the bridge was self-destroyed for military reasons, and reconstructed in 1874. On the begening of the 20th century, there are more and more cars and trucks, and the bridge must be consolidated, this was a work from 1934 to 1937. Unfortunately, in 1940, the bridge is self-destroyed for strategic reasons again. Finally, in 1950, the bridge is recontructed for the last time, as we can see it today.
And all the pictures are in the following diaporama