Find the Lion!

Lastours was the cradle of the Lastours knights and is currently used to host Mediaeval events and shows.

Lastours was the cradle of the Lastours knights and is currently used to host Mediaeval events and shows.

One lovely day in France we drove through the Limousin area hot on the trail of Richard the Lionheart.  19 sites consisting of castles, churches, fortresses and abbeys belonging to an organized Tourist Route  are marked by a created coat of arms: a crowned lion with the heart pierced by an arrow.  All of the sites existed at the end of the 12th century and Richard l, King of England, was a common theme between all the sites.  We only visited a few.

Poor Richard had a tough time of it, torn between his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine and his father, King of England, Henry ll.   At 12 years of age Richard was named Duke of Aquitaine.  This was confirmed in Saint Etienne Cathedral in Limoges, one of the sites on the “Find the Lion” route.  When Henry died in 1189 and Richard was crowned King of England at Westminster, he was in direct conflict with his Overlord, Phillipe Auguste, the King of France.

Somehow these two Monarchs settled their differences and fought together (traveling by different routes)during the third crusade  in an unsuccessful attempt to take Jerusalem.  Richard’s journey home took years and included an imprisonment in Germany.

Ultimately, he returned to England, took Normandy and began again to fight with Phillipe in France.  He was wounded and died in the Limousin area.  His body parts are scattered about; his heart at one site, his entrails at another and what was left of him at Fontevraud Abbey.

 

Lastours.  See the lupine in the window?

Lastours. See the lupine in the window?

 

Les Cars originated in the 13th Century (French Renaissance Architecture) and was rebuilt at various times, lastly in 1559 (Military Architecture)

Les Cars originated in the 13th Century (French Renaissance Architecture) and was rebuilt at various times, lastly in 1559 (Military Architecture)

 

 

Some of sites on the route are privately owned and we were unable to do more then enjoy them from a distance.  Le Cars, located in a town, appeared to have a small museum at the entry way.  It was closed and we could find nobody to talk to.  So... we walked on in and explored and climbed on our own.

Some of sites on the route are privately owned and we were unable to do more then enjoy them from a distance. Le Cars, located in a town, appeared to have a small museum at the entry way. It was closed and we could find nobody to talk to. So... we walked on in and explored and climbed on our own.

Nexon is a 17th Century chateau restored in the 19th century and currently used as the Town Hall.

Nexon is a 17th Century chateau restored in the 19th century and currently used as the Town Hall.

 

Castle and Ivy

 

They claim this is one of the most beautiful ruins in France.  Amazing!  Chalucet mediaeval fortress was built in the 13th century and is located on top of a rocky summit.  You are looking at the remains of the stair well.

They claim this is one of the most beautiful ruins in France. The Chalucet mediaeval fortress consists of two fortifications located on the top of a rocky summit. This is High Chalucet and was built in the 13th century as a luxury residence. You are looking at the remains of the stair well.

 

This picture was taken from a tower that lies between the 13th century castle and the

Low Chalucet (12-16th century) was home for 12 knights and their families and is an active archaeological site. We took this picture from the Jeannette tower. The ruins lie in a row along the summit.

 

Our last view of Chalucet

Our last view of Chalucet

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