Wedding night, marriage and tantrums in Taillebourg castle
Eleanor’s wedding night
A chronicler says that the young couple (Eleanor of Aquitaine and king of France Louis VII) spent their wedding night in the castle of Taillebourg… Yes! After their wedding in the cathedral of Saint-André of Bordeaux, Eleanor and Louis went towards the Charente, at the head of a huge escort of 500 knights. They stopped in Taillebourg, fief of the handsome Geoffroy III de Rancon, who hosted them and let them his castle… The Rancon, a family from Limousin (Central France), moved in Taillebourg in the 10th century: Geoffroy went with Eleanor and Louis in the Holy Land, in 1147!
Then, the castle fell to the Coëtivy, an old Breton family: Olivier de Coëtivy married, in the castle’s chapel, king of France Charles VII and Agnès Sorel's legitimate daughter, Marie of Valois! The scene took place in December 18th 1458: the castle of Taillebourg, despite the cold and the night, was full of laughs and music, for several days...
Cœur in the tower
Ah! By the way, since we’re talking about Agnès Sorel… Jacques Cœur, arrested in 1451 for the poisoning of king Charles VII’s mistress, was locked in Taillebourg: the tradition even says his jail was located in the current still standing tower...
A teen’s whims!
With the marriage of Louise de Coëtivy with a La Trémoille, Taillebourg fell to this famous family from Poitou. And… let me introduce Charlotte de La Trémoille, who was locked in the castle by her mum, Jeanne de Montmorency. Hey, she asked for it! Jeanne objected to her teen’s whims, because her daughter wanted to marry the prince de Condé, Henri de Bourbon. To think that Charlotte changed religion against her will, just for the love of this Protestant lord! Hey, we already met Henri in the castle of Blandy, during his wedding with the pretty Marie de Clèves... king of France Henri III’ s true love! In short… Charlotte finally married the prince, so there! Later, gossip said she poisoned him for the love of her lover, a young page boy… Do you remember? We find Charlotte’s lover in the caves of Matata... hidding there! Anyway, after the damages of the war of Religion, Taillebourg was finally destroyed during the Fronde, in 1652...
The visit of the castle
The castle was transformed into a garden. Hey, king Henri IV used to call the place ″the most beautiful ditch of my kingdom″! The famous landscaper Le Nôtre drew the borders in the beginning of the 18th century, and about 5000 stony balustrades used to surround the terrace!