We arrive a little later in Langeais, where we visite our first castle. In 1465, Louis XI decided to build a new castle in Langeais. Its architecture reflects the changes taking place at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries: on the city side, the facade has all the attributes of a castle: turrets, drawbridge walkway on battlements. Yet however, the building is no longer a fortress. On the courtyard side, the facade responds to what expected a king or a nobleman of his residence: being a nice place to stay, open to the outside by beautiful windows.
This castle includes five rooms furnished and decorated including the “Hall of Preux” and its unique collection of tapestries from the 15th and 16th centuries. Are exposed seven pieces (out of nine) of the famous hanging “the Preux” (1525-1540), which would have been realized for Pierre Payen or Pagan, Chauray Protestant lord in Poitou.
It is in one of the great halls of the castle that takes place, in the presence of a small audience, the marriage of Charles VIII and Anne of Brittany, on the eve of December 6, 1491. This marriage then marks the early attachment of the duchy to the French monarchy. The contract stipulates that spouses make a mutual donation of their rights over the duchy. In addition, Anne agrees to marry the new ruler if the king dies without a male child. And this is exactly what happens: children of the royal couple die at birth or in infancy and Charles VIII died in 1498 at Amboise Castle. Anne of Brittany then married Charles VIII’s cousin, Louis of Orleans, who will rule in the name of Louis XII.
Very well preserved, the castle of Langeais is a fine example of architecture from the late medieval period, characterized by its drawbridge, high roofs, battlements, walk paths and monumental finely carved fireplaces. Langeais is actually at the crossroads between the Middle Ages and Renaissance, its western side, on the garden area, offers a different face marked by Renaissance decorations. This was a great first visit, as the castle is beautiful and can be easily explored only if climbing doesn’t bother you!