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The pretty Marie Gaudin in La Bourdaisière castle: big diamond and gossips

The castle | Arcane17 / CC-BY-SA
Castle of the Loire Valley Castle Wedding Love story François I of France Marie Gaudin La Bourdaisière castle

The pretty Marie Gaudin

From Du Guesclin to Gaudin

The story of La Bourdaisière began in the 14th century. The land belonged to marshal de Boucicaut, Du Guesclin’s comrade in arms.

Then, it fell to the family Gaudin in the 15th century: let me introduce lord of la Bourdaisière's daughter, pretty Marie Gaudin.

She married the king’s secretary, Philibert Babou. We were in 1509, gorgeous parties took place in the castle.

François only saw her!

François I was pretty generous with the Babou. Especially with Marie!

Hey, did he fall in love with the pretty lady of La Bourdaisière? Oh, Marie Gaudin was so beautiful…

In the book Oeuvres complètes de Chateaubriand, augmentées d'un essai sur la vie et les ouvrages de l'auteur (part 9), we read: ″Mrs. de La Bourdaisière filled the Court with her love affairs: even in her old days, she was beautiful. She had no reason to be envious of her 4 pretty daughters...″

When the Court came in Amboise, the king always passed by La Bourdaisière, to see Marie. It was really love at first sight!

François even decided to finance the construction of the current Renaissance castle on the foundations of the old fortress, in 1520. Aaaah, love...

Rhaa, gossips!

Marie and Philibert had 4 sons and 4 daughters. Gossips says the daughters were like their mum, they became the king’s mistress!

French chronicler Tallemant des Réaux wrote in his Historiettes: ″Ladies of La Bourdaisière sprang from a very fertile race, who gave lots of gallant women to France. They were 25 ladies, nuns or wives, who all royally made love.″

And what did the gossips add? That a lady of La Bourdaisière slept around with emperor Charles the Fifth, king François I... and pope Clement VII in Nice!

By the way, since we’re talking about pope: Marie went with the king François in Italy in 1515, and this one introduced her to pope Leon X.H

e found her so pretty, he gave her a big diamond: the famous Gaudin diamond! And you haven’t heard the best bit yet!

Marie Gaudin’s grand daughter, who transformed La Bourdaisière into her favourite estate, was king of France Henri IV’s mistress: the famous Gabrielle d’Estrées...

Oh, love letters!

Histoire de Touraine jusqu'à l'année 1790 (part 3) by Jean-Louis Chalmel told after the French Revolution, the castle was sold. The new owner decided to alter it. The architect found, behind a wall, a hidden room.

A tiny study with a small loophole, with only a simple table. On this table, letters.

Not common ones! There was the correspondence between king François I and Marie Babou! The tradition says they fell in bad hands, because they disappeared...

About the the author

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