Richelieu - Past
Built as a 'ideal town' in the 17th century on the order of Cardinal Richelieu, the powerful First Minister to King Louis XIII, Richelieu is a unique example of 17th century planned urbanization.
. The architecture of this 'town' was grandoise to complement the immense chateau of the powerful Cardinal Richelieu. The chateau was demolished for building materials in 1805 and is now the public park of the town.
Grandoise mansions, with their large internal courtyards,
and hidden by large oak gates of the Grande Rue,
are architectural examples of Cardinal Richelieu's ambitious town design.
Outside of the walled gate is the stunning 1000 acre park and gardens of the dismantled Chateau.
Wander along tree lined avenues with red wooden bridges crossing the canals.
Explore this magnificent parkland with its rose gardens, animals and chateau remains.
Cycling, swimming pool and tennis courts, are all within the Chateau grounds walls. A fishing lake is across the road. Boules is played near the front gates.
Bike Trail The Voie Vert 20 kilometres old rail track from Richelieu to Chinon
Meanders through fields of gigantic sunflowers.
With quaint farm houses and magnificent chateaux.
Numerous walking trails. During summer, each village has a special day for a walk- raddonne.
Vide greniers (emptying the attic) is a big event for each village when everyone sets up a table to sell all their bits and pieces. It is a festive day with bands, banquet and fireworks.
Brocantes and Antique Fairs on the Square and in La Halle are held frequently throughout the year. And there is always a treasure to be found!
Richelieu Tourist Office will provide you with maps, brochures and all the assistance you need to ensure you make the most of your visit to the region. https://www.ville-richelieu.fr/
EVENTS AND FESTIVALS
Weekly Food Market Friday morning. Second and third Monday morning of the month- general wares market.
July and the first week of August- Richelieu Music Festival
June to September- Richelieu in Arts - local craftsmen and artisans' displays and demonstrations.
July every two years (even years)-Festival Cape and Sword/Festival Cape & Épée -plunges Richelieu into the seventeenth century time of the Three Musketeers for a weekend. A day to slip back into 1730's and dressed in period costume, enjoy the re-enactments, artisan crafts and even meet Cardinal Richelieu and the Three Musketeers.
August- Chinese Cinema Festival with many screenings, along with many other summer events make the most the summer days that finish late into the evenings.
December- Christmas markets
Travelling in any direction will take you through farmlands, fields of sunflowers, past quaint villages and majestic chateaux and white farm houses which dot the picture postcard countryside.