The marriage between the pious Louis VII of France and the ebullient Eleanor
of Aquitaine was doomed from the start, and it saw its end in the Second
Crusade to Jerusalem. Almost immediately upon their return an "amicable"
separation was decided. The reason stated was the birth of no male
child, but the real causes were many, including Eleanor's love of music and
great musicians. Her grandfather had been Europe's first great
troubadour (I say "the world's first Elvis Presley", not out of line exactly
since Presley is an old French name, too). In any case, Eleanor divorced
the king of France and married almost immediately the Henri PlantagenÍt, the
Count of Anjou and soon-to-be Duke of Normandy and King of England. This
union dealt a great blow to France and meant that this castle was now
effectively a part of England. Eleanor and Henri would have many
children, the most famous of whom was Richard PlantagenÍt -- known to us as
Richard the Lion-Hearted. Richard was always most at home in the land of
his mother and nothing was more that than this wonderful part of old
Aquitaine. The castle we know today is largely the personal work of
Richard Lion-Heart, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Normandie, and King of England.
Here we all sit at a table where Richard likely dined many times.