Friday, February 05, 2010

A Little Side Trip To Chinon

Chinon is one of my favorite places in the Loire Valley. The city is built on the Vienne River very close to where it joins the Loire. It's the site of an impressive medieval fortress and castle dripping with history. From the Plantagenets to Joan of Arc to Rabelais, there is much to learn about Chinon. And the countryside around Chinon is famous for its delicious wines made almost exclusively from the cabernet franc grape.

La tour de l'Horloge in Chinon, a very narrow building at only 5 meters wide.

The castle, now mostly in ruins, dates from the twelfth century, the time of Henry II Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine. One of the more recognizable features of the château still standing is the Tour de l'Horloge (The Clock Tower), built in the fourteenth century. Its bell has been ringing the hours continuously since 1399.

9 comments:

  1. Walt,
    Chinon, my sentiments as well. We returned for the second time last year when we met you and Ken and we are recommending friends to stay there later this year. I'm enthralled by the Joan of Arc upon horseback statue.
    Leon

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  2. I love the hanger for this light :) This is a nice photo--again, you have a good eye for textures and colors in your photos.

    We just finished our Plantagenets & Capets unit, and I showed photos of Chinon to the kids, as well as one of your photos of Fontevraud :) It's so nice to have access to the Internet and a big screen to show things on!

    Judy

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  3. Ah, Chinon. The place where my love affair with France really began. It is still my favourite town in France and although we didn't find anywhere to live there, knowing it is just a short drive away and we can go any time we like is more than enough.

    That is one fabulous photo. I recognised the tower instantly but that view with the lamp in front is so unusual.

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  4. I love the wines from Chinon... this prompts me to do a chinn tasting. Thanks for all the great photos of late!
    Your fan from the Willamette Valley!

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  5. Walt,
    I meant to say after seeing you great Chinon photo that the little photo on the side panel of our blog shows our bed sitting room in Chinon. The Gite was a white medieval residence with a lovely rose garden ruled by a little French Bulldog in the old city. Our hosts were more than one could ask for. On our return visit Helene told us that she awards stars for her guests, we were awarded with maximum stars and had tea with her. How nice.
    Leon

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  6. Walt,
    I meant to say after seeing you great Chinon photo that the little photo on the side panel of our blog shows our bed sitting room in Chinon. The Gite was a white medieval residence with a lovely rose garden ruled by a little French Bulldog in the old city. Our hosts were more than one could ask for. On our return visit Helene told us that she awards stars for her guests, we were awarded with maximum stars and had tea with her. How nice.
    Leon

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  7. leon, there is something about that place, isn't there? And I'll have to check out your sidebar photo again.

    judy, quite a change from when we were in school, eh? Remember filmstrips?

    jean, I envy that. Chinon is well over an hour away for us, unless we spend beaucoup euros on the new autoroute.

    stephen, let me know what wines you choose! Should be fun.

    starman, thanks!

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  8. I have the Lion in Winter completely memorized.
    When you go to Chinon do you see silly men like me reciting such?

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