Richelieu's ideal (and megalo) dream

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The castle in the 17th c - ©Gwenlune / CC-BY-SA The castle in the 17th c - ©Gwenlune / CC-BY-SA
Richelieu castle Castle of the Loire Valley Castle Richelieu

On September 9th September 1585, Suzanne de La Porte and François du Plessis welcomed their new born in the Richeloc castle: Armand-Jean du Plessis de Richelieu was born!... the future cardinal!

This one undertook in 1625 the building work of his ideal city. First, he added a building to the family castle... But when the fief was set up as a duchy, in 1631, he wanted something bigger... and royal! He owned around 20 fief in order to build a dwelling worthy of his new status. To raise his palace, he asked the royal architect Le Mercier, a sir who worked on the Louvre's building works in 1624.

The construction began in 1631. In 1633, the main building and the left wing were finished. At the end of 1634, the right wing was almost finished. But Richelieu died in 1642, before the end of the work... Well, the palace was composed of a courtyard, framed by stables (80 horses could live here), manege, apartments for servants.

Next to this, a tennis court created in 1665. Inside the palace, King and Queen's Apartments; a gallery on the right wing's first floor (60 metres long!), full of masterpieces: for instance, paintings of Pérugin, Poussin, Mantegna... Richelieu castle also had a beautiful park. In short, Richelieu was a royal house!

At the same time, the cardinal raised a city: "Here, I will be the only king", said he. Then he gave each plot of lands to his courtiers, and they had to raise their houses with their own money. In 1638, the main parts of the city was put up. After the cardinal's death, the castle fell to his brother's descendants, who abandoned it.

Sold during the French Revolution, the castle was owned in the beginning of the 19th century by a merchant who demolished it in order to sell the stone. Nowadays, you can visit the park, two huge grottos and the left detached house.

And also!