Montrichard castle: Templar knights and pullets' eggs

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The keep - ©Daniel Jolivet / CC-BY-SA The keep - ©Daniel Jolivet / CC-BY-SA
Montrichard castle Castle Castle of the Loire Valley Imprisonment François I Foulques Nerra Knight Templar

Foulques and the Little Devil

The primitive keep was raised by a famous chap. Who?? Foulques Nerra! In 1016, this one chose a little clod next to a village occupied by a lord named Rabeau. At this time, lords were always waging war. Foulques’ main enemy? Eudes, count of Blois… So Foulques raised this keep on a strategical place overlooking the river Cher and keeping an eye on the roads leading to Blois and Loches. He entrusted it to a friend, Roger de Montrésor, nicknamed… the Little Devil!

A Lion arrived!

But in 1109, Hughes I d'Amboise succeeded in seizing Montrichard. He restored the wooden keep and raised a stony fortress. Inside the castle’s rampart, it used to be a real keep made of stone. But it was destroyed in 1188 by king Philippe Augustus’ troop, during the war against Richard Lionheart...

Templars in Montrichard

October 1307. The mighty Templars were arrested. The 3 leaders were translated in Paris, to have their trial: Jacques de Molay, Hugues de Pairaud, Geoffroy de Gonneville. In 1308, they had to go to Poitiers (Western France), to see the pope Clément V. But, sick, the pope could not meet them. The 3 Templars had to stop in Montrichard then in Chinon where they wrote their confessions. We still can see on the walls of Montrichard’s big keep some graffiti drew by those men… Graffiti we also find in Chinon, pretty mysterious ones!

Upper crust and hen’s eggs

The family d’Amboise turned up in the next century. They raised the big rampart. Then, in 1461, the d’Amboise gave the castle to king Louis XI. To replace the old dwelling house, at the north of the farmyard, he raised two main buildings. A cylindrical tower linked the keep. This tower collapsed in 1950…

Montrichard knew a very magnificent era with François I. At that time (1516), the king gave the fortress to his loyal general Galiot, Jacques de Génouilhac. Do you remember him? We already met him in his castle of Assier (Lot)... François gave him the seigneury of Montrichard with all the justice rights! So, Galiot completely re-fit out the castle, to host his king.

And do you know what François did in Montrichard? Like in Amboise, he made very serious experiences… he tested the first incubators! In the winter 1572, hens’ eggs were hatched. When Galiot and François died, Montrichard fell to the French Crown. Upper crust turned up: in 1613, king Louis XIII spent a night in the castle, with more than 3000 guards and their horses! Louis will come back to hunt in the neighbouring forest...


And also!