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The Louis XI tower in Loches: torture and sufferings on every floors

Louis XI and his cage | / CC-BY-NC-SA
Castle of the Loire Valley Castle Imprisonment Torture Louis XI Loches keep

The keep

Count of Anjou Foulques Nerra raised this keep in 1030 on a feudal clod.

Foulques the ardent was a super conqueror: he wanted to take control of Touraine, and stop his enemy's raids, count of Blois Eudes.

So he raised a big fence made of fortresses: Montbazon, Langeais, Montrésor... and of course, Loches!

Henri II Plantagenet added long ramparts one century later.

Loches was besieged by the English during the Hundred Years War, but king of France Philip Augustus get it back in 1205…

Our stronghold soon became a giant citadel: we had the keep, Louis XI’s tower and the Martelet.

Louis XI’s tower

Dungeon or attic?

This tower dates back to the 15th century. In a dark cellar, we find the jail.

In middle of the staircase, we can see a kind of tunnel: the legend says king Louis XI liked to come here, to spy on his prisoners…

But in fact, we don’t know if this room is a jail or an attic.

Engravings’ room

On the walls, we can see here graffiti.

Prisoners (Catholics or Protestants?) drew them in the 16th century, during wars of Religion... characters wear typical clothes from Henri III’s reign!

We have a guard, at the entrance, with a halbert (the only character in profile), fighting soldiers, others holding guns…

Look at those details! Those life-size men have their own features, we even can see details on their clothes...

Come closer, next to the fireplace: do you see this religious scene engraving in the stone? It's a temple, a kind of church, anyway, with a queue of characters below.

Louis and his fillettes

King of France Louis XI transformed the place into a famous jail, popularized by his famous fillettes: the tradition used to say they were tiny wooden cages.

But not at all! The fillettes (″little girls″) were only heavy chains shacking prisoners’ hands and feet...

About the the author

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