Plessis-les-Tours ~ some interesting facts

The château of Plessis-les Tours is to the west of Tours. It was built in middle of the 15th Century under instructions from Louis XI.

The above image is from, Visages de la Touraine in my collection.

Here are some interesting facts related to the château:

1580: The Treaty of Plessis-les-Tours was signed in the château on September 29, 1580 between the Dutch Staten Generaal and François, Duke of Anjou (click here for early history of the Dukes of Anjou). Based on the terms of the treaty, François assumed the title of “Protector of the Liberty of the Netherlands” and became sovereign of the Dutch Republic! In 1583, the citizens of Antwerp massacred his army, he withdrew from the Low Countries and died of malaria the following year.

1607: First mulberry trees planted.

1744 to 1762: The Plessis nurseries distributed not less than four hundred thousand feet of mulberry trees in Touraine, and which contributed greatly to the important silk industry in the Tours area.

1778: Became a place of confinement 274 for vagrants.

c.1779: At the time of the French Revolution it was partly demolished and eventually become a depot for fertilisers.

1900: Here is a description of the château from c.1900 by J. J. BOURRASSÉE~ it does give some insight about relations between the château’s royal residents and the local population:

“THE castle of Plessis stands to the west of the city of Tours in a vast plain watered by the Loire and Cher. To reach it, you follow a road bordered with old mulberry-trees, the remains or heirs of those planted by Henri IV. in 1607, and renewed in 1690 by Louvois. Impressed by the terrible memories of Louis XI, turn not your head towards those trees to look for those hanged by Messire Tristan L’Hermite  (1). Neither be afraid of finding beneath your feet those man-traps that were planted in the vicinity of the Castle to catch the curious and the rustics who ventured upon the lands of His Majesty. To-day the country is safe and there is nothing to be feared from the Castle, even if it is not attractive; but, in the Fifteenth Century, a safe-conduct and an experienced guide were necessary for crossing this dangerous region.”

(1) Tristan l’Hermite was a powerful, if shadowy, political and military figure ~ he was provost of the marshals of the King’s household under Louis XI and was involved in many of the political and deadly intrigues and plots during the king’s 22-year reign.

About Jim McNeill

I am a blogger on 'The Social History of the Touraine region of France (37)' and also 'The Colonial History of Pennsylvania and the life & Family of William Penn'. I am a Director of Fresh Ground Group Ltd.
This entry was posted in French Revolution, Medieval history, Mulberry Plantations, Plessis-les-Tours, Silk Industry, Tours and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Plessis-les-Tours ~ some interesting facts

  1. Pingback: Louis XI at Plessis-les-Tours | Social history in the Touraine ~ Central France

  2. Pingback: Louis XI at Plessis-les-Tours | Social history in the Touraine ~ Central France

  3. Pingback: History of the silk industry in the Touraine Region, France | Social history in the Touraine ~ Central France

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