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Unusual: the Ladies of Loches

This imposing château has a heart of stone, but was given a touch of tenderness by three great women who came here. Joan of Arc, Agnès Sorel and Anne of Brittany all left their mark on Loches, which the royal residence guards jealously.
 
Joan of Arc’s stay in the Royal City of Loches was a decisive episode in the history of France that culminated in the ascension to the throne of King Charles VII. The Dauphin met the Maid of Orléans in the Great chamber, after liberating Orléans from the hold of the English. She implored him to go to Reims to be coronated, which he did and subsequently became the new king of France.
 
As king, he was sometimes said to be fickle, but his heart truly belonged to one of his mistresses, Agnès Sorel. Her legendary beauty and intelligence wielded a strong influence on the king, granting Agnès official status and enabling her to live in Loches alongside the king. Two paintings, including the famous Virgin and Child preserve the memory of this graceful lady in the Agnès Sorel room. Her grave, with its magnificently sculpted alabaster recumbent statue, is in the Saint-Ours collegiate church.
 
The first lady of Loches represented war, the second beauty, and the third wisdom and daring. Anne of Brittany, who was twice queen of France, spend long periods in the château and built an oratory here in around 1500. This small chapel is richly decorated with Breton ermines and is a masterpiece of the Flamboyant Gothic style.
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