Built as a 'ideal town' in the 17th century on the order of Cardinal Richelieu, who had spent his youth there, Richelieu is accessible by three monumental gates; a fourth, dummy gate exists to respect the symmetry of the whole. 

The urban plan is based around two symmetrically arranged places: Place Royale (religious) and the Place du Cardinal (now Market Square), which your apartment overloooks. The walled gardens of the lost chateau are a public park.

After the death of Cardinal the village continued to have illustrious visitors, like Louis XIV and Voltaire. According to La Fontaine, Richelieu was at the time of writing the "most beautiful village of the universe."

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