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Saumur Castle is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The poet-king Rene of Anjou chose him to describe in his novel Heart Captivated by Love. Castle of Love. Known for his debauchery, the Marquis de Sade stayed here for two weeks in 1768.
The history of the modern castle of Saumur begins with the reign of Saint Louis. Before him, several structures were erected here: the fortress of the Count Blois Thibault `` Dodger '', the defensive fortifications of the Angevin Count Fulk the Black, the fortress of Geoffroy Plantagenet. In 1203 Philip Augustus annexed the castle to the royal domain. In 1227 - 1230 a fortified castle was erected here. The castle of Saint Louis is based on 12th century masonry, on which the building of irregular quadrangular shape is located, with vaults decorated with engravings.
Through the efforts of Louis I of Anjou, the second son of Jean the Good, in the second half of the 14th century, the rough building turns into an elegant country castle. During the reign of Rene of Anjou (1454-1472) significant work was carried out, as evidenced by the accounts and records kept in the National Archives. Rene of Anjou left two small rooms, a chapel and an alley.
After Rene's death in 1480, the Duchy of Anjou ceded to the French Crown, and Saumur Castle became part of the royal domain.
A century later, Henry III ceded the castle to the king of Navarre. During this period, the castle was fortified: fortress walls with battlements and bastions were erected, which have survived to this day.
Since 1621, the castle has a new owner. Since then, the castle no longer plays military and political roles. The ancient citadel has served as a prison for almost two centuries.
In 1779, during the American War of Independence, 800 British sailors were held captive in the keep and other buildings. In 1811, restoration work began, or rather, the rebuilding of the galleries of the northeastern wing into cells for keeping prisoners .. In 1889, the castle ceased to be considered a military building and after a few years it was ranked as a historical monument.
In 1906 the castle was converted into a museum. Large windows with sculptural carvings opened to visitors, remains of fireplaces, stained-glass windows; the researchers found enameled tiles and a coin depicting Louis XIV. The restoration of the 20th century, despite the thoroughness and painstaking work, was unable to recreate the most important elements of the interiors of the 14th century, such as the decor of doors, windows and fireplaces. Since 1912, the Municipal Museum has been opened in the restored north-east wing, and the Equestrian Museum is located on the third floor.
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Topic: Chateau Saumur in France, Loire Valley resort.