Saturday, April 07, 2012

Montsoreau, France - June 16, 2011

Montsoreau is a tiny market town on the river Loire, close to the confluence of the rivers Loire and Vienne, in the Maine-et-Loire department. With a population between 500 and 600 there is not a lot of industry or indeed much in the way of commerce in the immediate area.
At the beginning of 11th century, Montsoreau had already developed as a strategic military point and the rocky outcrop on the left bank bore the castrum of Monte Sorello, an old fortress from the first millemnium CE. The current Chateau was constructed on the bank of the Loire river in 1455 by Jean de Chambes, a senior councilor to King Charles VII. From here the chateau continued to exercise control over river traffic between Chinon and Saumur.
Alexandre Dumas' novel La Dame de Monsoreau is based on the amorous escapades of two ladies who occupied the castle during the reign of King Henri III.
In 1634 the then lord of the chateau, Rene de Chambes, was condemned for trafficking in salt and other offenses and fled to England. By the end of the 19th century, the castle was abandoned and in near ruin having been used as a warehouse for many years. In 1913, Jean de Geoffre and the Council of Maine-et-Loire acquired the property and it was extensively renovated in 1994.
More views of this classy looking mansion here.

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