Eileen Lord must like the great "seigneurs" of France. (With a little guess work you might figure that "seigneur" means "lord".) She has gone five or ten miles down the road to visit the castle of Talmont, whose most famous lord in residence was a fellow named Richard the Lion-Hearted. The history of the castle of Talmont goes back much further, however, and Eileen has interviewed the local historian Christelle Boulineau to find out more. The first written reference to this site comes from the year 1025, a time when the sea reached all the way in to what is now an inland fortress. In those early years the castle was built mainly to protect against the Viking marauders, who were actually Richard Lion-Heart's own ancestors. Amazingly, this castle went unscathed through the Hundred Year War, but that was just luck. The Religious Wars of the 1500's made this a prime target once again. The Protestants won out and this was for a while one of their strongholds. Then along came good ol' Richelieu. He ordered the total destruction of this site. The lord promised to comply. In fact what he did was to make the castle look as if it were being dismantled while leaving the essence intact. That's part of why we still have the castle of Talmont today. And today, this is one of Talmont's and Vendée's most valued secret treasures.
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This page last updated on 2005-06-29 6:12:36 AM.