Visit Loches by Mouse
Loches is a small town (pop 7000) in the Southern Touraine Department of France, in the Loire Valley but on the Indres River, 25 miles southeast of Tours and 24 miles south of Amboise. High on a hill above the town is an old walled area, La Cite Medievale, that dates from medieval days. In it there is a Chateau, a Donjon, and the Church of St.- Ours which dates from the 10th century. The Chateau de Loches played a large role in the history of France. In the 15th century, Charles, the heir apparent to the throne of France lived there and received a visit on May 11, 1429 from none other than Joan of Arc, fresh from her victory at Orleans. She begged him to come to Reims to be crowned king. Unable to resist the pleading, he became Charles VII, returned to the chateau and set up house with his beautiful mistress, "Damoyselle de Beauté", Agnès Sorel. Agnes thereby became the first "official mistress" of a French king. Later, Louis XI constructed the donjon--prison- which is near the chateau. Louis XI lived in the Loche chateau as a child but preferred his castle in Amboise for his residence. During the American revolution, France became an ally of the American forces and imprisoned British prisoners in the prison.
 
We toured the Chateau but not the donjon.  The chateau's rooms are huge, stony and cold, with a copy of a famous painting of the Virgin and Child, shown in the link to Agnes Sorel, above. The Virgin, for whom Agnes was the model, has one breast bared. She is undeniably beautiful.  Her tomb is in the chateau.
You can take a virtual tour of Loches that provided the opportunity to see the town and the walled Cite as well as the buildings in it.
A nearby town, Ville de Descartes, is where the philosopher was born and lived. We tried to visit to see where he lived but could not manage the narrow streets and had to leave. What we did see of the town was very attractive.
Letter, Tourist office
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