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.