Thursday, April 24, 2008

Beaugency - cruising the Loire Valley

Orleans and Blois, both on the River Loire, are about 35 miles apart and Beaugency, also on the river, is about halfway between. Until recent times, the 11th century Beaugency bridge was the only crossing along this entire stretch of the river. This made Beaugency of such strategic importance, that the town and the bridge were captured four times by the English during the Hundred Years War and were finally recaptured by none other than Joan of Arc in 1429.
Much earlier, in 1152, in the Romanesque Notre Dame abbey church, the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Louis VII was annulled freeing Eleanor to marry the future Henry II of England. Scandalous, eh?
For more old ruins, click here.

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