The tour Blanche is the name of Issoudun’s big keep, who was part of a big fortified castle, in the past. The tradition says that Richard Lionheart raised it in the 12th century. So, it belonged to the English!
English and French who fought and fought again… until the French get back the city. Then, king Philippe Augustus (who raised the big tower of the Louvre castle in Paris at the same time), completed the tower Blanche, on the same model.
They named it after the queen Blanche, because after Richard Lionheart’s death, this keep fell to the kingdom of France. And king Louis VIII married Blanche… of Castile! Future king saint Louis’ mum.
We even meet a noble lady, here… who? Agnes Sorel! Her royal lover, king of France Charles VII, gave her the castle of Issoudun, after the birth of their 3d daughter! So Agnes became ″lady of Issoudun″… During the Middle Ages and until the 17th century, the tower was transformed into a jail.
We have here a cylindrical tower raised on a clod: hey, after all, Issoudun comes from the Celtic word dun, which designates a fortress on a hill! The keep is 27 metres high. Don’t miss the panoramic view, at the top! And in the floors, there’s a small museum about Hundred Years War and Blanche of Castile’s life, with dummies and engravings...