The Castles following along the route of Richard the Lion Heart
"Dieu et mon Droit"�"God and my Right" - Richard I - Richard the Lion heart (Richard Coeur de Lion)
Richard was known to be fond of music and was nurtured in the troubadour culture of his mother's southern homeland. From the outset, he exhibited the volatile disposition and energy inherent in the Plantagenet family. He was said to be fond of quoting the Angevin family legend "From the Devil we sprang and to the Devil we shall go."
He was later to become the future King of England, Duke of Normandie, Duke of Aquitaine, Count of Poitiers, Count of Maine and Count of Anjou. In 1172, when he was fourteen years old, Richard was invested with his mother's inheritance of Aquitaine and Poitou at Limoges. He grew into a tall man of around six feet four inches, a graceful figure with long legs and an athletic build, in later years he had a tendency to grow stouter. His hair was red, like his father's, his eyes grey and furious, he had also inherited his full quota of the infamous Plantagenet temper, His coronation took place in Westminster Abbey on the 23rd of September 1189. During the ceremony, a bat was seen to zig-zag around the King's head in its erratic flight. Many in those suspicious days saw this as an evil omen.
He was known as the Lion heart because he was generally considered to be a great soldier and a brave crusader. He won several battles against the Saracens, the Saracen leader respected Richard and regarded him as a great warrior. Even though the two men were enemies, he sent Richard grapes and a fast horse as gifts. After becoming king, Richard joined the Third Crusade to the Holy Land to fight the Saracens. He conquered the island of Cyprus quickly and then sold it to the Knights Templar.
Richard left an illegitimate son, Philip of Cognac, born in the early 1180's to an unknown mother. Philip is reported to have killed Ademar V, Viscount of Limoges, in 1199 in revenge for his father's death.
It is in the beautiful departement of the Haute-Vienne where Richard I, the then King of England in March 1199, was in the Limousin suppressing a revolt by Viscount Aimar V of Limoges. Although it was Lent, he "devastated the Viscount's land with fire and sword". He besieged the puny, virtually unarmed castle of Chalus-Chabrol. Some chroniclers claimed that this was because a local peasant had uncovered a treasure trove of Roman gold, which Richard had claimed from Aimar in his position as feudal overlord.
In the early evening of 25 March 1199, Richard (believed born in Oxford UK, 8th Sep 1157 to King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine (Alienor d'Aquitaine) ex wife of King Louis VII of France.) was walking around the castle perimeter without his chainmail, investigating the progress of sappers on the castle walls. Missiles were occasionally shot from the castle walls, but these were given little attention. One defender in particular amused the king greatly � a man standing on the walls, crossbow in one hand, the other clutching a frying pan which he had been using all day as a shield to beat off missiles. He deliberately aimed at the king, which the king applauded; however, another crossbow man then struck the king in the left shoulder near the neck. He tried to pull this out in the privacy of his tent but failed; a surgeon, called a 'butcher' by Hoveden, removed it, 'carelessly mangling' the King's arm in the process. The wound swiftly became gangrenous.
Accordingly, Richard asked to have the crossbow man brought before him; called alternatively Pierre (or Peter) Basile, John Sabroz, Dudo, and Bertrand de Gurdon (from the town of Gourdon) by chroniclers, the man turned out (according to some sources, but not all) to be a boy. This boy claimed that Richard had killed the boy's father and two brothers, and that he had killed Richard in revenge. The boy expected to be executed; Richard, as a last act of mercy, forgave the boy of his crime, saying, "Live on, and by my bounty behold the light of day," before ordering the boy to be freed and sent away with 100 shillings.
Richard then set his affairs in order, bequeathing all his territory to his brother John and his jewels to his nephew Otto.
Richard died on 6 April 1199 in the arms of his mother; it was later said that "As the day was closing, he ended his earthly day." Because of the nature of Richard's death, he was later referred to as 'the Lion (that) by the Ant was slain'. According to one chronicler, Richard's last act of chivalry proved fruitless; in an orgy of medieval brutality, the infamous mercenary captain Mercadier had the crossbow man flayed alive and hanged as soon as Richard died.
Richard's heart was buried at Rouen in Normandy, the entrails in Chalus (where he died) and the rest of his body was buried at the feet of his father at Fontevraud Abbey in Anjou.
King Richard the Lion heart spent only six months of his ten year reign in England , claiming it was "cold and always raining." He cared little for England and during the period when he was raising funds for his Crusade, Richard was heard to declare, "If I could have found a buyer I would have sold London itself.", he did not concern himself with the future of England. He wanted to engage in an adventure that would cause the troubadours to immortalise his name, as well as guaranteeing him a place in heaven. A transaction dated 1201 relates that Philip (Richard's illegitimate son) sold his Lordship of Cognac to King John (Richard's successor to the throne of England) and then disappeared from the records forever.
Route de Richard les Coeur de Lion
In 593, Gregory of Tours was impressed by the importance of the pilgrimage to the saint's tomb. the monastery here was destroyed by the Vikings in 866. By the end of the XIIIth century, high walls were built converting it into a fortifed town.
Chateau de Rochebrune, Etagnac,
Chateau de Brie, Oradour sur Vayres,
Abbey of Le Chalard,
Chateau of Pompadour.
Other castles/chateaux associated with Richard the Lion heart
Beaumont Palace, Oxford, UK
Chateau de Talmont, Vendee, France
Chateau de Radepont, Eure, France
Chateau de Montfort-sur-Risle, Eure, France
Chateau d'Arques-la-Bataille, Seine-Maritime, France
Chateau de Moulineaux, Seine-Maritime, France
Chateau de Chinon, Indre-et-Loire, France
Chateau Gaillard, Normandy, France
Chateau de Soumensac, Indre-et-Loire, France
Chateau de Taillebourg, Charente-Maritime, France
Chateau de Durnstein, Austria (Burgruine Durnstein)
Trifels Castle, Germany (Reichsburg Trifels)
Kantara Castle, Cyprus (Kantara Kalesi)
Limassol Castle, Cyprus
St.Hilarion Castle, Cyprus
Buffavento Castle, Cyprus