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Not to be missed: one of the oldest stone keeps in France

Built at the end of the 10th century by Fulk the Black, the original fortress of Langeais lives on through its old stone keep, one of the oldest in France. The building is a priceless testimony to military architecture in the Middle Ages.
 
All that remains of the defensive structures built by Fulk the Black is the stone keep in the château’s park. Although it is partially in ruins, the North and East walls of what was once a large square tower supported by a fortress are still in evidence. The use of stone testifies to the Count’s power and changes in military architecture at the time, which was beginning to turn to the solidity of tuffeau stone rather than wood.
 
The building’s construction suggests that the keep also served as a castle-like residence originally covering two floors. It was entered via the first floor which most likely contained the aula, or great hall, with a fireplace and openings to let light in. The enclosed ground floor was used as a cellar and storehouse. On the sides, the remains of two turrets which must have contained stairs can still be seen. The rooms at the top of these towers were probably living spaces or apartments.
 
Around the keep, the remains of the ramparts and the Saint-Sauveur chapel which housed relics brought back by Fulk the Black from his pilgrimages to Jerusalem, can still be seen. The whole site is valuable historical evidence of early stone military constructions in the Middle Ages.
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