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In Niort, du Guesclin pull the wool over the English's eyes

Illustration picture | Public domain
Fortification Hundred Years War Siege Bertrand du Guesclin Niort keep

A keep at the test of time

This big fortress, raised at the end of the 12th c. by Henri II Plantagenet for his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, is composed of 2 keeps, linked by a more recent main building.

The 2 keeps house each one a lower room in the first floor and apartments on the second floor. The castle used to be a big pentagon protected by ditches on one side and by river Sèvre Niortaise on the other.

Whoa, what a formidable defensive system! Not to mention the huge ramparts which surrounded the castle, flanked by 12 towers and 2 gates…

Du Guesclin, Mr. the wise guy

Rally round!

In the Middle-Age, everything didn’t go like clockwork. The city was into the hand of the English, with the beginning of the Hundred years War.

And with the signature of the treaty of Brétigny, in 1360, the Poitou completely turned English! Damned…

Fortunately, in 1372, a saviour came: a small Breton, ugly face, stocky like a boar… Du Guesclin! The way he set the city free was amazing… listen to that!

Damned Froggies!

Our story began in the city of Chizé, few kilometres away from Niort. The last rampart before the city!

Du Guesclin was confident. But before, he had to fight with the English. Oh, an enemy army coming from Niort arrived to fight with him.

Whoa, they cut a fine figure, with their white tunics flanked by a red cross, “to amaze the French” like the chronicle said.

The battle was gory. Du Guesclin killed every English and captured survivors… and ordered to his army to wear the English’s tunics.

So, when they arrived to Niort, they wore the enemy’s clothes! The English, locked in the fortress, saw them and opened the door, of course… A slaughter then took place.

About the the author

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