Sunday, January 23, 2011


The Chateau of Exideuil in todays harsh winter light. Exideuil is about 25 kilometers north of us in The Dordogne. We were invited to have a lunch there at Le Fin Chapon Restaurant, which we had ours eyes on since it reopened last year. The Restaurant is situated in a square under the walls of the town side of the chateau. If you are ever in the neighborhood, I would highly recommend it. Excellent, friendly and inexpensive.
The Village is situated on a hillside, rising up from the Auvezere River. It still is a very lively place with a magnificent yellow limestone Gothic church with a very unusual cloche.
The Chateau is remarkable. It's not a fairy tale structure. The medieval donjon rises tall and efficiently business like over the valley on a rock promontory. At the base, on the left hand side, you might be able to see a cave in the cliff, which is connected to the defense of the ramparts. It was remodeled. so to speak, in the 16th century. Parts of the chateau are open to the public and many cultural events are held there throughout the year.
Historically, the Chateau is noted as the only place Richard The Lion Hearted ever failed to take. He tried and failed three times.
(if you click on the link, there are some great pictures at the bottom of the Wikipedia article)


mud_rake said...

Your historical fact, Chateau is noted as the only place Richard The Lion Hearted ever failed to take. He tried and failed three times.
is a sad commentary on the awfulness of wars. As you know, Rihard loved his mother, Eleanor, and some of his most happy days were spent at mother's court at Poitiers. He was much more French than English. Yet, he was forced to wage war in the homeland of his mother.

In fact, he died in the Limousin in one of those idiotic battles. His life, especially inhis older years, reflects most perfectly the Oedipius Complex. The gentileness of his mother contrasted with the machismo of his father surely must have confused the boy/man.

Then, of course, for flavoring, the insertion of religion- the Crusades- surely even more tainted his psyche.

Thanks, Microdot, for helping me to renew my history lessons of this region of France.

microdot said...

The history is ever so much more complexly human...
This area, Aquitaine, was the kingdom of Eleanor, which was part of her dowry so to speak when she married Henry II of England in 1152.
This of course was the origin of the 100 Year War.
More intimately, the Phillip II of France and Richard are historically shown to have had an intense homosexual relationship, which lasted through their Crusade...I believe it was the third crusade.....
Philip went on to become the king of France and ended the relationship....
Eleanor, whose life lasted longer than any of her children, goaded Richard into his destiny, which of course was to reclaim his legacy, which was Aquitaine.
But how much of Richards passion in reconquering Aquitane was fueled by his desire to reconquer his mothers heritage or his subconscious pain at losing the object of his passion?