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Eleanor of Aquitaine fresco in Sainte-Radegonde chapel in Chinon

The fresco | Chinpat / CC-BY-SA
Chapel Eleanor of Aquitaine Sainte-Radegonde chapel in Chinon

The Plantagenet in Chinon

After her marriage with the future king of England Henri II, Eleanor of Aquitaine turned up in the val de Loire: Chinon became the king’s capital city in Touraine.

Eleanor loved the life, here. The climate, first, so sweet, like in her native Aquitaine.

Parties, then. Her husband was often absent, to settle things in England.

So, alone, Eleanor organized luxurious parties, in the castle, living a life of pleasure among the music of the troubadours...

A royal fresco!

Eleanor, John, Isabel

But in 1964, an archaeologist found frescos in the chapel.

Including a famous one, dating back to 1200: the scene represents a royal hunting, a hawk hunting.

Hey! Do we have here a representation of the Plantagenet, with John the Lackland, his wife Isabel of Angoulême and his mum Eleanor?

Why not… Chinon was the Plantagenet’s favorite estate, especially of Henri II, who died here, alone, betrayed by his owns, in July 1189…

Do you remember? The tradition says his henchmen put his body on a table, in the castle, and stole everything, even his clothes: the old king hid a big treasure in the fortress!


And after all, Radegonde was the patron saint of the city of Poitiers, Eleanor’s favorite city.

She had her palace there, and with her previous husband, king of France Louis VII, they were crowned dukes in the cathedral of Saint-Pierre.

Eleanor knew Radegonde, she often prayed her... and, she was the saint of the released prisoners: hey, Eleanor spent 15 years in jail in England!

But, better than suppositions, proofs: in the fresco, we can see an emblazoned decoration inside the coats (a reversed bell on a blue background), a typical decoration belonging to the Plantagenet!

No doubt, now, on the riders’ identity...

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!