/ / Castle of Montreuil-bellay: photo, description Chateau de Montreuil-Bellay)

Castle of Montreuil-bellay: photo, description Chateau de Montreuil-Bellay)

Castle of Montreuil-bellay is situated in the eponymous town and is part of the Department of Maine-et-Loire. The castle stands on a hill above the thouet river.

Earlier this place was a Gallo-Roman settlement. During the middle Ages the town of Montreuil-bellay was one of the 32 key strategic points of the ancient province of Anjou. The first citadel on this spot was built in the XI century by count of Anjou by Fulcom Black, which is then conveyed to the fortress in possession of his vassal, Giraud Belle, in whose honor the city and the castle got its name.

Rod Belle was loyal to the French king, and because the fortress of Montreuil-bellay was often besieged during the war with Plantaginetum. The longest siege lasted from 1148 to 1151 of the year - exactly three years. After the king of France Philip II Augustus in 1208 defeated by the British, the relations of the family with Belle the French Royal family only improved. For example, in 1224 it housed the court of king Louis VIII. Surrounded by dense forests, the castle of Montreuil-bellay, was the perfect place for falconry, also, there were often sumptuous feasts.

In the XIV century, during the hundred years war, the castle of Montreuil-bellay and monasteries in the neighbourhood, gave shelter to the starving locals. The owner of the castle - Guillaume de melon-Tancarville died heroically at the battle of Agincourt, and the new owner was his grandson, the representative of the ancient Norman kind of Erkenov. The castle was expanded - was added 13 defensive towers and a fortified wall made up of 650 meters in height. The main entrance to the castle was virtually impregnable - with a Barbican and drawbridge, he was surrounded by two massive round towers.

In the XV century the castle of Montreuil-bellay were converted in accordance with the style of the Renaissance. Updated castle called "Château-Neuf" - the "new castle" and much increased in size, because they built new halls. At the same time was constructed the main staircase of the castle. Part of the castle also included the Notre Dame Church and the adjoining premises for the clergy.

During the Huguenot wars of the mid XVI century, the town of Montreuil-bellay was ransacked and burned, but the fortress stood. It is worth noting that the castle was providing weapons and supplies of the army as Catholics and Protestants.

Castle of Montreuil-bellay has changed many owners, among which should be noted of Henry II of Orleans, Duke de Longueville, the famous diplomat, participated in the signing of the peace of Westphalia of 1648, which marked the end of the Thirty years war. Wife of Henry was Genevieve de condé, sister of the great condé, the leader of the Fronde. By decree of king Louis XIV Genevieve, also a prominent member of the Opposition, was imprisoned in the castle of Montreuil-bellay, and it was the company of her many fans, including Turenne and La Rochefoucauld.

At the outbreak of the French revolution, the castle was owned by the de Trebui, a man loyal to king Louis XVI. The revolutionaries were soon occupied the castle and converted it into a prison for women realistic. After the war the castle of Montreuil-bellay gained the wealthy merchant de Saumur-in-law who served as a guardsman of the king of France Charles X., His descendants repeatedly became the mayors and senators of the district.

18 June 1979 the castle of Montreuil-bellay part of the monuments of culture and art of France. Now the castle is a Museum open to visit a XV century building, the so-called "Château-Neuf". Worth noting is decorated with sculptures of a dining room, a small room where the music room and the bedroom of the Duchess de Longueville. In the chapel of the XV century, very interesting is the fresco depicting the Crucifixion, the author is a disciple of Leonardo da Vinci. Very well preserved medieval kitchen, designed in the flamboyant Gothic style following the example of the kitchens in the famous Fontevraud Abbey. Now here is a tasting of local wines.