You can visit many Renaissance castles in France, and most will be empty shells. The Chabotterie is fully furnished, but most of its interior glory dates from the next glory days of the Vendée logis: the 1700's. The Wars of Religion were won by neither side, but King Henri IV, a Protestant, accepted the throne and the crown on the condition of his conversion to Catholicism. His son, Louis XIII, would put the point to this conversion by promoting the ideas of a minister named Richelieu. Richelieu, who began his career right here in Vendée, would focus on diminishing the power of the new religion in the name of the monarchy. The prosperity promised by Henri IV was real and it came, first in the years of Richelieu and Louis XIII, then in the greatest glory times of France: the reign of Louis XIV -- the Sun King. The Sun King would outlaw Protestantism and move to exterminate its remnants in 1685. 100,000 Protestants would be expelled from this part of France. The Chabotterie was set for its next, most prosperous age: the 18th century. In Vendée the greatest genius of those days is Réaumur, whose home we visited earlier. You may also know of Voltaire, Rousseau, etc.
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This page last updated on 2005-06-16 12:38:42 PM.