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Middle Ages (1130-1590 AD)
Possession by the Counts of Vendôme
|In 1143, Bouchard IV, the son of Jean of Vendôme, became Lord of Lavardin. He added a large tower to the keep that exists today. When he became Count of Lavardin in 1180, he had to swear allegiance to the King of France even though he was a vassal of the King of England. This change of allegiance resulted in the siege of Lavardin by Richard the Lion Hearted and by his father, King Henry II Plantagenêt. Both these sieges failed because of the formidable defenses of Lavardin but also because of an alliance with Montoire. Lavardin became the strongest part of the Vendôme domain. |
Possession by the Bourbon-Vendôme
In the 14th century, Vendôme united with the Bourbons through a double marriage. Jean VII with his new Bourbon-Vendôme family undertook the restoration of the chateau and its defenses. He redid the interior of the keep and added an elegant stairway, which connected the different levels of the chateau.
In the 15th century, his son, Louis I, and his grandson, Jean VII, continued Jean VIIs restoration work. The improvements and elegant stairway were completed in 1448 and Jean VIII was able to show it off to Charles VII and his beautiful wife, Agnès Sorel, when they sojourned there during the siege of LeMans against the English. It was during this visit on the 2nd of March that the treaty stopping hostilities was signed at Lavardin.
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|King Charles VII of France and Agnes Sorel || |
| ||In 1477, Jean VII sought refuge in the chateau from the volatile and dangerous King Louis IX. Jeans sudden death after reading a letter from the King raised suspicions that he was poisoned. |
After the death of Jean VII, the chateau was again neglected by the Counts of Vendôme. In 1516, fearing the plague, the monks of the Collegial Saint George sought refuge in Lavardin. In 1581, another epidemic killed 300 in Lavardin.
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