|Joan of Arc|
Painting, ca. 1485. An artist's interpretation, since the only portrait for which she is known to have sat has not survived. (Centre Historique des Archives Nationales, Paris, AE II 2490)
We decided to follow some of her steps when she was in Chinon.
|Joan of Arc plaque|
This plaque mentions that Joan stepped on the rim of a well to get down off her horse before undertaking the long ride up to the château, and this is the well.
|Stepping on the well lip|
We are on the road that Joan travelled on her way up to the castle to meet with the Dauphin, later Charles VII.
Signs everywhere tell us we are on the right path.
The castle is high and the road is steep.
|Tower of Château in the distance|
|At start of path|
|Still a long way to go|
|Château de Chinon|
We will save the visit of the château itself for another day.
The Château de Chinon is an important shrine in Joan of Arc country and, as such, wheedles money from all passing pilgrims. It was here in 1429 that the saint first recognized the disguised dauphin (later Charles VII), and persuaded him to give her an army to drive the English out of France.
Before that, Chinon was the Plantagenet kings' favourite castle.
To get to the start of this path, we go to Chinon's old district, on the Rue Voltaire. It's the town's bijou center and feels like a medieval film set.
The "Maison Rouge" in the Grand Carroi is studded with a red-brick herringbone pattern.
A bit of colour along the way.
|Palais du Gouverneur|
The grandest mansion is the Palais du Gouverneur, with its double staircase and loggia. Today it is a lawyer's office.
No. 44 which houses the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, is a stone mansion where, in 1199, Richard the Lion-Heart is said to have died. This photo is taken from the back of the building, where musicians were assembling to perform a concert.
You might say this is a very intricate barbed-wire fence. It would certainly keep the riff-raff out!
Karl, reading up on St. Maurice Church. (Maurice was my Dad's name.)
|St. Maurice Church|
Narrow or steep, the path is never easy.
Time to end the day with a great meal at "Les Années 30", one of our favourite restaurants. Unfortunately, there is no more wild boar on the menu.
Four appetizers each: puff pastry as light as air with some herbs on top; a bite of fish (hidden behind the pastry); goat cheese tartlet; small black olives.
My entrée was lox wrapped around a mango and lychee chutney - so very refreshing! On the right, a row of shredded pickled mackrel next to dried flower petals.
Karl's entree was chicken in aspic with green shredded apples on top, mixed salad and iced cream.
|Magret de Canard|
The most ironical statement of the evening was when the server brought the coffee with a plate of meringues and candied jelly and said, "Pour votre petit creu", which roughly translates to "A little something to ensure you don't have a little emptiness left in your stomach..." As if that would be possible!