Cognac, count Jean d'Orléans' castle

Jean d'OrléansJean d'Orléans | ©the lost gallery / CC-BY

Hostages and steam rooms

Jean d’Orléans was born in the castle in 1404. His father, te count of Blois Louis d’Orléans, had just died.

So Jean became count of Angoulême. This “good count”, as people nicknamed him!

Hey, you probably know his brother, the famous poet Charles d’Orléans, but also his grandson… the future king of France François I!

But in 1412, his life collapsed when the English took him hostage: Jean spent 30 years in jail… 30 years! A whole life…

So, when he came back in Cognac, he wanted a quiet life… he wanted to live! He transformed the old castle in 1450. The castle was pretty old!

Nowadays, only remains the logis du Gouverneur (“Governor’s dwelling”) with its ceremonial room known as the “Helmet’s room” (because of a blazon on the chimney).

In this room, we even had steam rooms!

The Good count

Jean was soon nicknamed the “good count Jean” because he was generous!

He had a life full of misfortune, but he wanted to make happiness.

He gave without counting the cost to poor people, lepers, widows and orphans. But above all, injustice drove him mad.

One day, he caught his servant, Trompette Blanchet, in the act of ripping off a merchant.

He wanted it to look like he was buying a knife, but he broke the blade.

The merchant asked him to pay, the naughty one refused and slashed him.

Hard luck, Jean saw the scene from a castle’s window… He hit Blanchet with all his strength, forcing him to pay the knife…