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Lys-Saint-Georges castle: a symbolic feast and an Italian in jail

The castle | / CC-BY-NC-SA
Castle Imprisonment Ludovico Sforza Lys-Saint-Georges castle

English and French reconcile?

George Sand, who praised the poetic name of the place, said this about Lys origin: king of France Philip Augustus and Richard Lionheart reconciled during a feast and decided to join France’s fleur-de-lis to England’s patron saint, George.

Well, the legend is pretty nice, but... even if the castle was an object of rivalry between English and French during the Hundred Years War, the village name simply comes from Latin olicium, which means "cereal barn"! Besides, Lys inhabitants were called Olliciens...

An Italian prisoner

Duke of Milan Ludovico Sforza was locked in the keep by king of France Louis XII, for 5 years.

Then, he was sent into the dark keep of Loches... A man called Gilles Bertrand, governor of Berry, kept an eye on him...

But one day, Ludovico succeeded in running away!

Hidden into a hay cart, he ran away... but once he was left to himself in the forest, he get lost and was arrested because of his very strong Italian accent!

Ludovico spent 5 years in this sinister keep.

The keep was damaged during the Revolution. Fortunately, new owners made restoration at the end of the 19th century.

The castle is nowadays a private estate, but you are allowed to go to the entrance postern and have a discrete look...

About the the author

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