Lions, and Tigers, and Lizards, Oh My !

The stories connected to this castle are amazing -- and many are true...  The actual building here probably dates back to the time of Charlemagne's children.  At first a church and then converted into a fortress against the Viking invasions, the details of this fortress's origins are buried in the sands of time.  Many real historical figures, however, are know to have lived here.  The most famous among these is perhaps Richard the Lion-Hearted.  Richard's mother was the legendary Eleanor of Aquitaine, born a few miles from here in a village we'll visit later this month.  When Eleanor married the young Louis VII of France, she joined these lands to the kingdom centered in Paris.  Upon one visit to inspect his new lands, Louis VII was invited here to Talmont -- an especially attractive area and one whose lord was known for setting false lights along the coast in order to draw boats toward the rocky shore.   There he made his fortune from the shipwrecks he provoked.  In a similar stroke of cunning, he laid a plan to capture King Louis of France and hold him for ransom.  Louis was one of the most pious of all French kings, but also among the most vindictive.  When he learned of the trap, he arrived with his men and set fire to the whole of the site.  The red hue of these stones was cause by King Louis fire set in the mid-1100's.
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This page last updated on 6/5/2003 7:07:03 PM.