Château de la Chapelle-Bellouin: the cardinals’ castle
- Roche-Rigault (La)
Located in the village of La Roche Rigault between Loudun and Monts-sur-Guesnes in the Loudunais region of la Vienne, this 14th century chateau was built close to a 13th century tower, the lower half of which has survived and was rebuilt during the Renaissance era by Henri Bohier. Like his younger brother who built the Château of Chenonceau, Henri Bohier was French King Francis I's finance minister. The château later was offered as a gift from Francis I to the Sourdis family; who remained close to the kings of France until the death of their niece and adopted daughter, Gabrielle d'Estrées in 1599. The County of la Chapelle Belloin was then purchased by Cardinal Richelieu when he increased his power and position to become a duke. The estate was sold in the 17th Messidor year of the 13th century for 150, 450 Francs, a sum which was 25% higher than "the immense and wonderful château in Richelieu, its gardens and outbuildings with everything looking as though it had just been built", in the heart of the Poitou-Charentes region.