/ / The castle of Loches: photo, description Chateau de Loches)

The castle of Loches: photo, description Chateau de Loches)

The Loches castle is located in the French Department of Indre-et-Loire. The castle stands at an altitude of 500 meters above the Indre river.

The castle of Loches is famous for its donjon, which is the oldest preserved in all of France. Donjon is a massive quadrangular building. The first building dates from the IX century, then this place was a wooden tower associated with the town of Loches underground tunnels in the rocks.

Stone donjon began to build count of Anjou Fulk the Black in 1005. At the time he was in a state of permanent internecine war with the neighbouring feudal lords, especially with the counts of Blois, so he built a lot of fortifications. The donjon was virtually impregnable - the thickness of its walls reached three meters. Only the tower has five floors, each floor is a single room. The ground was occupied by a warehouse. Fulk the Black did not live to see the completion of construction, he died in 1040 and was buried in the still unfinished castle. The Loches castle was completed in 1070.

In the middle of the XIII century, the new count of Anjou, Geoffroy V was able to finally win the counts of Blois and quietly settle in the castle of Loches. But at the end of this century his son, the king of England Henry II Plantagenet had to fend off the constant attacks of the French king Philip II, who had intended to expand their territory. The case of Henry was continued by his sons, kings Richard the Lionheart and John Lackland. During the reign of the latter in 1205 Philip II finally managed to capture a castle of Loches.

Military actions no longer affected the castle, and during the hundred years war, it housed the representatives of the Royal dynasty of Valois. The first building of the Royal apartments built by king Charles VII, more like a defensive structure, but under his successors they were rebuilt in the flamboyant Gothic style.

In the castle of Loches in June 1429 Joan of Arc convinced the Dauphin Charles, the future king of France Charles VII to be crowned the French throne, in Reims. Later, as king, Carl gave this castle to his favorite - the Agnes Sorel.

In the XV century was built a Round Tower, called the Tower of Louis XI. It is 25 meters in height, consists of four floors and was previously used as a prison. On the first floor of the tower is the torture room. Since 1500, the castle of Loches became a prison for the Duke of Milan, Lodovico Sforza. Out of deference to his illustrious parentage, he was given a separate prison room with private facilities. Lodovico died in this castle in 1508.

During the War for US independence, France supported the Americans, including financial. The Loches castle then served as a prison for captured Englishmen.

During the French revolution, the castle of Loches was seriously damaged, and not restored. The destruction of churches, including the chapel of the Queen of France Anne of Brittany, plundered the tomb of Agnes Sorel. Despite the fact that the restoration work is still underway in 1806, part of the castle still lies in ruins.

In 1861 the castle of Loches became part of the monuments of history and culture of France. Now it belongs to the commune of Loches, it is a Museum. To visit, in addition to the lock, and opened the adjacent Church of Saint-Ur.

The Church of Saint-Ur was previously known as the Church of Notre Dame de Loches. It is interesting - it is crowned by two octagonal pyramid, built in the year 1165. Even unique it portal - it depicts human figures and animals taken from the medieval bestiary. Since the end of XVIII century the Church was given its present name, as the first parish Church of Saint-Ur was destroyed. The Church was dedicated to Saint Uru of Loches, the founder of the monastery of V century. In April 2005 in the Church of Saint-Ur appeared the marble tomb of Agnes Sorel.