Lundi 01 septembre 2014
The death of Richard the Lionheart in 1199

In 1152, Eleanor, the heiress of the Duchy of Aquitaine who had recently separated from her first husband, Louis VII King of France, married Henry Plantagenet of the powerful House of Anjou. She brought to the future King of England the Duchy of Aquitaine, which notably included Limousin and Perigord.

Richard, the third son of Henry II Plantagenet, King of England, and Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, was born in Oxford on 8th September 1157. He was crowned Duke of Aquitaine in Poitiers in April 1169.

In 1199, he marched on the Viscount of Limoges to punish his vassal, Adhémar V, for rallying to the King of France. He then besieged the Viscount's castle in Châlus. On 26th March 1199, he was shot in the neck by an arrow fired from the keep. He died on 6th April as a result of this wound, in the arms of his mother Eleanor, who heard his last wishes: "that my body be buried at Fontevrault, my heart in Rouen Cathedral and that my entrails remain in Châlus."

Richard the Lionheart

So it was that a page of European history was turned in Châlus at the end of the 12th century.
For a long time, this important historical fact took a hold in the popular memory. Probably during the Renaissance, a legend arose, according to which Richard had actually come to Châlus to recover a treasure trove of life-size golden statues representing a prince and all his family.

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