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The Route of King Richard the Lion Heart

Updated on August 9, 2014

Rochechouart castle is on the route of Richard the Lion Heart

2. Rochechouart Castle This magnificent castle is only ten minutes from Les Trois Chenes and Videix
2. Rochechouart Castle This magnificent castle is only ten minutes from Les Trois Chenes and Videix | Source

The route of Richard the Lion Heart is an historical treasure trove

Limousin is a land of lakes and legends, of enchantement and mystery, of the wild and the free. Known as 'Hidden France' because, though beautiful and steeped in history, it is undiscovered and so, unspoilt. Here you can enjoy all the ambiance of France, the wine, the food and sunshine, but you can do it on empty country roads bordered with cowslips and the early purple orchids.

We have lived in Limousin, creating Les Trois Chenes Bed and Breakfast, for seven years now and have only begun to discover a fraction of the treasures of this region! I have only just realised that the nineteen Castles and ancient monuments on the Route of King Richard the Lionheart are all within an hour and a half drive from us, and 18 are within an hour.

The nearest castle to us is Rochechouart. Nor does this include the castles of the nearby Charente and Dordogne regions or several other amazing historical sites!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Our Bed and Breakfast has four well-equipped, en-suite rooms.Bed and Breakfast dining roomAll the Bed and Breakfast rooms have en-suite bath and shower rooms and private WC'sThere is a living room with piano in the Bed and BreakfastThe gite has a southeast facing terrace for morning sun. It is shaded with grape vines.The gite is furnished with antique French furniture but well equipped.The gite has two double room and a room with three single beds.
Our Bed and Breakfast has four well-equipped, en-suite rooms.
Our Bed and Breakfast has four well-equipped, en-suite rooms. | Source
Bed and Breakfast dining room
Bed and Breakfast dining room | Source
All the Bed and Breakfast rooms have en-suite bath and shower rooms and private WC's
All the Bed and Breakfast rooms have en-suite bath and shower rooms and private WC's | Source
There is a living room with piano in the Bed and Breakfast
There is a living room with piano in the Bed and Breakfast | Source
The gite has a southeast facing terrace for morning sun. It is shaded with grape vines.
The gite has a southeast facing terrace for morning sun. It is shaded with grape vines. | Source
The gite is furnished with antique French furniture but well equipped.
The gite is furnished with antique French furniture but well equipped. | Source
The gite has two double room and a room with three single beds.
The gite has two double room and a room with three single beds. | Source

Who was King Richard?

Richard was born in Oxford, England on the 8th September 1157. He was the son of King Henry II, Plantagenet, King of England and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, France. He was invested as the Duke of Aquitaine in April 1169 in Poitiers, and this was confirmed in Saint Etienne Cathedral, Limoges.

Together with his brothers he went to war against his father. When his father died in 1189, Richard became Duke of Normandy and then King of England.

After crusades and turbulent skirmishes with the King of France, he was wounded on 26 March 1199 and died 6 April. His heart was buried at Rouen and his entrails at Châlus, Limousin. What was left of him was buried at Fontevraud Abbey.

The Route Richard Coeur de Lion

The Route de Richard is clearly marked.
The Route de Richard is clearly marked. | Source

What is the Route of Richard the Lion Heart?

This is a route created in 1984 to link together the amazing castles, churches and historical sites of the Region of Limousin and bordering departements. This link was Richard. All the sites existed at the end of the 12th century and some of these formed a fortified barrier to the south of the region.

A coat of arms was created - a crowned lion with an arrow through the heart - and this logo is used on a series of sign posts that clearly mark the route.

Visit castles and chateau in the Limousin

    1. The Castle of Rochebrune, 16150 Etagnac (GPS : 45.8959200000,0.7879700000). An 11th century fortified house and residence of the Princes of Chabanais. From 01/07/2012 to 31/08/2012 guided tours every afternoon, (except Tuesday) from 2pm - 6pm. Adults 6€ children under 12 yrears old 3€. Information: 05.45.65.26.69.
    2. Rochechouart Castle Now a major centre for Contemporary Art.
    3. The church of Les Salles -Lavauguyon Impressive 12 & 13th century frescoes.
    4. Chateau de Brie An imposing house at Champagnac la Rivière.
    5. Château de Montbrun A castle reflected in the water of its moat. If you dream of living in a castle like this - the dream could become a reality. This castle is for sale. It was viewed by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Think you might like to buy? Click here.
    6. Château de Chalus-Maulmont Magnificent ruins and beautiful views
    7. Chalus-Chabrol Ruined castle. It was here where Richard was killed in 1199. The chateau is the 'symbol of the Limoges Viscounts' resistance against the Plantagenets. Richard the Lionheart's entrails lie in the chapel.’
    8. Le Cars The ruins of time!
  1. Lastours Moats and ruins and a Romanesque keep.
  2. Nexon Elegant 17th century Chateau and garden.
  3. Le Chalard Jewel of Romanesque art, 11th century church is Saint Geoffroy’s hermitage where in 1088 he had a monastery and basilica built. There are Gold mining near by!
  4. Jumilhac This is the fairytale castle of picture books!
  5. Saint Yrieix Porcelain museum, gold mines,mediaeval enclosure, 13the century onwards church, 11th century library.
  6. Cussac Bonneval Four massive round towers and a moat.
  7. Seguire-Le-Chateau Listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France.
  8. Pompadour Fortress started 1026. Famous horse breeding centre and the National Stud farm of France.
  9. Chalucet This mediaeval fortress is a major feature of the Limousin’s heritage. The oldest part dates from the 12th century – with famous Jeannette tower.
  10. Solignac One of oldest and most remarkable churches in Limousin. The Monastery was founded by Saint Eloi in 7th century.
  11. Limoges Granite cathedral. 1st religious building dates from the 3rd century by Saint Martial. It was in the 11th century Romanesque cathedral that Richard the Lionheart was invested as Duke of Aquitaine in 1169.

The Chateau of the Route de Richard Coeur de Lion

Click thumbnail to view full-size
5. Chateau de Montbrun. This picturesque castle is reflected in the moat that surrounds it. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie looked at this castle, but decided against buying. Shame!
5. Chateau de Montbrun. This picturesque castle is reflected in the moat that surrounds it. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie looked at this castle, but decided against buying. Shame!
5. Chateau de Montbrun. This picturesque castle is reflected in the moat that surrounds it. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie looked at this castle, but decided against buying. Shame! | Source
Source
Source
Chateau de Peyras, about 30 minutes from Les Trois Chenes
Chateau de Peyras, about 30 minutes from Les Trois Chenes | Source
La Rochefoucauld Dress up in medieval costumes - great for the kids and fun for Mums and Dads too!
La Rochefoucauld Dress up in medieval costumes - great for the kids and fun for Mums and Dads too! | Source
La Rochefoucauld - Another beautiful, fairytale castle.
La Rochefoucauld - Another beautiful, fairytale castle. | Source

So many places to visit along the Route of Richard the Lion Heart

There are lots of other important near-by places to visit:

  • Excellent botanical garden behind Limoges Cathedral
  • Museum of Métiers also near the cathedra. A fascinating museum devoted to the crafts.
  • Chateau de Cromieres at Cussac.
  • Cassinomagus An important Gallo - Roman site at Chassenon. They organise fantastic days when people dress up as ancient Gauls or Romans and show crafts, costumes, housing, warefare etc. Not well publicised but not to be missed!
  • The town of Pierre-Buffier is about 1 hour away from Les Trois Chenes and has (or had) monestary of 11th century and has 11th century church - Sainte-Croix. It is well worth a visit
  • The Chateau de Peyras was found by the present owners forgotten and half-buried in the earth. It was covered with brambles and vegetation. They have restored it and you can no take a tour guided by the owner himself.

The chateau of La Rochefoucauld is a real fairy tale castle

The Chateau of La Rochefoucauld in the Charente is only thirty minutes drive away from Videix. Not only can you visit this castle, but you can dress up in costumes and swan around as if you owned the place! A definite winner for children.

The town is a pretty and virbrant centre with lots of wonderful cafés, restaurants and shops. The castle has been owned by the same family for its entire history, since 980, and if you are lucky, you may well be shown around by the proprietors themselves

King Richard and Chalus

King Richard died at Chalus in Limousin. The ruins of the castle at Chalus. There is another castle that is in tact that you can visit in the summer
King Richard died at Chalus in Limousin. The ruins of the castle at Chalus. There is another castle that is in tact that you can visit in the summer | Source

How to find Les Trois Chenes Bed and Breakfast in Limousin

A
Videix:
87600 Videix, France

get directions

Les Trois Chenes is on the Route of Richard the Lion Heart, ten minutes from Rochechouart and twenty from the Chateau of Rochebrune

B
Rochechouart:
87600 Rochechouart, France

get directions

C
Rochebrune:
Rochebrune, 16150 Étagnac, France

get directions

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    • Les Trois Chenes profile imageAUTHOR

      Les Trois Chenes 

      5 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      Thanks so much for these kind words INFJay. Much appreciated.

    • INFJay profile image

      Jay Manriquez 

      5 years ago from Santa Rosa, California

      Your hubs are always an interesting read! Love the photos too.

    • Les Trois Chenes profile imageAUTHOR

      Les Trois Chenes 

      5 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      Thanks Anne - it really is fascinating and a fun thing to do. Fabulous French castles and some lovely countryside and villages / towns

    • Anne Harrison profile image

      Anne Harrison 

      5 years ago from Australia

      Yet another thing to add to my must-do list - thank you for an interesting hub, and the map really helps!

    • adorababy profile image

      adorababy 

      8 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      I am pretty sure one or more of these have been used to appear in period movies.

    • Les Trois Chenes profile imageAUTHOR

      Les Trois Chenes 

      8 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      Michael Shane Thank you!

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 

      8 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Very nice hub!

    • Les Trois Chenes profile imageAUTHOR

      Les Trois Chenes 

      8 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      Thank you so much for leaving a comment. I must say that I have learnt a great deal about Richard and the period and didn't realise there was so much just on our doorstep.

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 

      8 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Looks like a really interesting route to follow, with a lot of history on the way. I think that in the UK people forget that at that time English monarchs spent much more time in France than they did in England - and Richard I hardly set foot in the UK! Great hub and photos

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