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Chinon



The Chateau of Chinon stands high on a cliff overlooking the town and the River Vienne.
The Chateau is best seen from the park on the other side of the river, and is floodlit at night.
The Chateau now mostly in ruins was built by Henry 11, count of Anjou and the Plantagenet King of England in 1154, from here he ruled his domain that included England.
Richard the Lionheart lay in state here after his death in 1199 and is buried at the Abbey of Fontevraud together with fifteen other members of the Plantagenet family.
The only other resting place for English Kings other than the Abbey at Westminster in London and the Abbey in Caen where William the Conqueror is buried
There are three chateaux on the site all inter linked and moated.
The bizarre Tour de L'Horloge (Clock Tower) dates from the 14th century and now houses a small museum on the life of Joan of Arc.
It was here in 1429 that Joan of Arc arrived to persuade the Dauphin (future king of France) to allow her to take arms against the English, who later captured and burnt her at Rouen.
The Famous French writer Francois Rabelais (1483-1553) lived here for a while and a fine bronze statue stands on the banks of the Vienne.
At the Grande Carroi in the Vieux Ville a plaque commemorates the place where Joan of Arc dismounted from her horse and walked up the steep path to meet the Dauphin.
A little further along this medieval road is the ancient town gate now preserved against a wall.
Where ever you walk in the town you are presented with a changing vista of the chateau overlooking the town.


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