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The birth of a giant in Cognac castle

Louise de Savoie | Public domain
Castle Accident François I of France Cognac castle

The birth of a giant

Louise of Savoy were only 12 when she married Charles of Valois-Angoulême, 27 years-old.

One fine day of September 1494, Louise strolled in the gardens of castle of Cognac when suddenly… violent contractions seized her. The tradition says it was near an elm-tree she gave birth to the future king François I…

The concerned Ourmetil was scalped at the end of the 18th century.

Fief of the Valois family, François I extended his castle with gorgeous Renaissance rooms. Upper crust and crowned heads came here, and lovely parties took place… François loved Cognac, with its vast forest!

François was a hunter, even if he nearly killed himself:

Etant le roi à Cognac, il y failli perdre la vie de la chute de son cheval, étant allé à l'assemblée et à la poursuite d'un cerf. Mais on prit si grand soin de le panser, que pour la grâce de Dieu, il revint en santé.
(“The king was in Cognac, he nearly died in a horse fall while he was hunting a stag. But we nicely healed him, so he was quickly cured”)

A league in Cognac

François signed an agreement in the castle, with pope Clement VII, duke of Milan Maximilian Sforza and Henri VIII, against emperor Charles the Fifth. Because François was Charles’ prisoner in 1525, during the battle of Pavia… They signed the treaty of Madrid, one year later, and he was released.

A liberty that had its cost: the damned treaty deprived him of several lands and he had to renounce to his claims on Italy! Once he was free, François immediately denounced the treaty: in Cognac, he forged an alliance with the pope against Charles… It was the League of Cognac, or Saint-League, signed on May 22th 1526.

About the the author

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