"Loches - Century old Fortified Town" Loches by pedroswift

Loches Travel Guide: 31 reviews and 79 photos

Joan of Arc Slept Here

If you have even a slight interest in the history of France, Loches is an essential stopping spot on your quest for enlightenment. It certainly got under my skin. Because of the homework I did before the visit, I had an inkling of what to expect and the actual physical layout of the town and the fortifications on the hill were better than I anticipated.
300 years of feudal France is covered by your visit to the Norman Keep at the southern end of the hill top. Used as a prison it bears witness to that and with a little imagination you can feel the cold cruelty of the place. Towards the northern end of the ridge is the 15th C Royal Loge reflecting the age during which French Royalty consolidated its power.
The main line of defense around the fortified hill is in good shape and there are vestiges of the outer walls (2) to give one an idea of the scale of the fortifications. It is worth a visit and I regret not spending more than one night in town.
But why did I go away angry?? Perhaps the "red rag"-er within me was spurred by the knowledge that THE French National Heroine, Jeanne D'arc was sold down the drain soon after leaving this secure bastion to venture into enemy territory to ensure that her wimpish wanna-be king (of the good French), Charles VII was crowned in Reims, where all Christian kings had been crowned since 496.
After his coronation in Reims in July 1429, Charles gave poor Jeanne the flick. He did nothing to repatriate her from the Burgundians (the evil French) when they captured her nor from the English who bought her from her captors. Why did I mutter obscenities about the Divine Right of Kings as I examined the rooms in which Jeanne persuaded Charles to meet his destiny? Guess I'm just a sucker for a sad story!

Fulk III, Count of Anjou slept here.

Predating Charlie's times, Loches' "favourite son" was born in 972....back when Knights were really Bold with a capital "B".
Here is a description of Fulk III - also known as "The Black". I wonder why?
"Fulk of Anjou, plunderer, murderer, robber, and swearer of false oaths, a truly terrifying character of fiendish cruelty, founded not one but two large abbeys. This Fulk was filled with unbridled passion, a temper directed to extremes. Whenever he had the slightest difference with a neighbor he rushed upon his lands, ravaging, pillaging, raping, and killing; nothing could stop him, least of all the commandments of God."
How's that for a wrap?

Richard the Lion-Hearted Slept Here

The King of England (and boss of a few other places as well) Richard the First {1157-1199} spent some time here. Infamous for being the worst of kings but the greatest of bloodthirsty warriors, Richard actually took the hill at Loches by force despite the apparent security of the fortress after his brother John sold him down the drain while he was returning from the rape and pillage known as the Third Crusade. I wonder how many people Dicky boy sold down the drain? We know he tried it with his dad, Henry II of England but Henry prevailed & put down the revolt . Perhaps Richard was a chip off the old block genetically speaking. Did he get his military prowess from his father?
I just love Dick's opinion of himself: "that his rank acknowledged no superior but God".
After visiting Loches, it's almost mandatory to drop into the Abbey of Fontevraud to visit Richard's tomb.

Agnès Sorel Slept Here

Agnès Sorel was the mistress of Charles VII (the ingrate). She turned the head, heart and pocket of Charlie boy to the extent that he bankrupted the treasury to keep her in style.

So a visit to the best fortress in the Loire has it all: architectural delights spanning several centuries, Legends of Old, Knights of Bold, sex in the city -del, Family Feuds, Torture Chambers in Medieval Dungeon of Donjon.
Don't dismiss it ................ Don't miss it.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:See - be touched by a thousand years of history
  • In a nutshell:Best preserved fortress in the Loire
  • Last visit to Loches: Apr 2008
  • Intro Updated May 2, 2015
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Reviews (2)

Comments (4)

  • goodfish's Profile Photo
    Mar 28, 2011 at 5:59 AM

    Meagre my eye - this is a GREAT page! I'm so glad you mentioned it in the forum as I have a hard time getting around to everyone's good works. Love that you gave us some fascinating history: very well done!

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
    Mar 22, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    Hi, this is a very interesting place that I have never heard of before! Thank your for this great page!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Sep 19, 2010 at 4:12 AM

    Great explanations of the history on your intro page! I would probably stay at the George Sand hotel just because of the name, even though she only stopped to change horses there.

  • hquittner's Profile Photo
    Feb 19, 2009 at 9:41 AM

    Please recast your delightful intro and write a Tip or more so that I can vote for you (no votes for intros or travelogs you know).


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