The pretty Marie Gaudin in La Bourdaisière castle: big diamond and gossips

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La Bourdaisière castle Castle Castle of the Loire Valley Love story Wedding François I Marie Gaudin

The pretty Marie Gaudin

From Du Guesclin to Gaudin

The story of La Bourdaisière began in the 14th century. The land belonged to marshal de Boucicaut, Du Guesclin’s comrade in arms. Then, it fell to the family Gaudin in the 15th century: let me introduce lord of la Bourdaisière's daughter, the pretty Marie Gaudin. She married the king’s secretary, Philibert Babou. We were in 1509, gorgeous parties took place in the castle.

François only saw her!

François I was pretty generous with the Babou. Especially with Marie! Hey, did he fall in love with the pretty lady of La Bourdaisière? Oh, she was so beautiful, Marie Gaudin…

In the book ŒOeuvres complètes de Chateaubriand, augmentées d'un essai sur la vie et les ouvrages de l'auteur (part 9), we read: ″Mrs. de La Bourdaisière filled the Court with her love affairs: even in her old days, she was beautiful. She had no reason to be envious of her 4 pretty daughters...″

When the Court came with François in Amboise, the king always passed by La Bourdaisière, to see Marie. It was really love at first sight! François even decided to finance the construction of the current Renaissance castle on the foundations of the old fortress, in 1520. Aaaah, love...

Rhaa, gossips!

4 sons and 4 daughters were born from the Babou marriage. Gossips says that the daughters were like their mum, they all became the king’s mistress! The French chronicler Tallemant des Réaux wrote in his Historiettes: ″Ladies of La Bourdaisière sprang from a very fertile race, who gave lots of gallant women to France. They were 25 ladies, nuns or wives, who all royally made love.″

And what did the gossips add? That a lady of La Bourdaisière said she slept around with emperor Charles the Fifth, king François I... and the pope Clément VII in Nice! By the way, since we’re talking about pope: Marie went with the king François in Italy in 1515, and this one introduced her to pope Léon X.

He found her so pretty, so he gave her a big diamond: the famous Gaudin diamond! And you haven’t heard the best bit yet! Marie Gaudin’s grand daughter, who transformed La Bourdaisière into her favourite estate, was king of France Henri IV’s mistress: the famous Gabrielle d’Estrées...

Oh, love letters!

Histoire de Touraine jusqu'à l'année 1790 (part 3) by Jean-Louis Chalmel told that after the French Revolution, the castle was sold. The new owner decided to alter it. The architect found, behind a wall, a hidden room.

A tiny study with a small loophole, with only a simple table. On this table, letters. Not common ones! There was the correspondence between king François I and Marie Babou! The tradition says that they fell in bad hands, because they disappeared...


And also!