'Mail du Donjon'
I wish I could have some of these in my mother's garden.
(click to enlarge and fully enjoy their beauty)
Just around the corner is the ‘collégiale’ church, where Agnes Sorel, King Charles VII’s mistress is buried. I’ve written about her short life and mysterious death in an earlier post. She was considered as one of the most beautiful women of her time. If we are to believe the historians, she wouldn’t have had any trouble becoming ‘Miss France 1442’. She would have been 20 years old then; the perfect age to become a Renaissance Beauty Queen.
My dream house ...
We went to see her white marble ‘gisant’ – burial monument with a life-size statue of the deceased lying on top –in the Saint-Ours Collégiale church. Personally, I was slightly disappointed. Even knowing that beauty standards have changed since the 15th century, I didn’t see what all the fuss was about. Okay, I admit, she was a nice looking young woman, but I had expected her features to be more delicate and refined.
This was confirmed by the computer animation that we saw later at the Logis Royal. On a TV screen is shown how her skull, which was dug up in 2005 to do research in order to determine the cause of her untimely death, slowly transforms into a ‘living’ face. Her best features were definitely her clear blue eyes, fair hair, flawless skin and rosy complexion. Apart from that, I found her face rather plump and her nose too large …
Agnes Sorel was not the only noble woman to have lived or stayed at the Logis Royal. It was also the temporary residence of Anne of Brittany and Joan of Arc dropped on two occasions. She came to see Charles VII in order to incite him to travel to Reims to be sworn in as King of France. That’s probably why the Logis, compared to the rough and manly nearby donjon, is such an elegant and ‘feminine’ building.