La Rochefoucauld, Charente
Castle of La Rochefoucauld
|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Joaquim Martin|
|• Land1||7.21 km2 (2.78 sq mi)|
|• Population2 density||440/km2 (1,100/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||16281 / 16110|
|Elevation||75–136 m (246–446 ft)|
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
The village takes its name from the large chateau above the village, which is partially open to the public. It is also still inhabited by the Duke and Duchess.
The site was first used around 980 by Fucaldus, younger brother of the Viscount of Limoges. Fucaldus set up a fortified camp on the rock and called it Fucaldus in rupe, or Foucald's Rock.
Early in the 11th century, the son of Fucaldus built a square keep, still identifiable at the heart of the present site. Two entrance towers were built from 1350, with three angle towers following, along with a heightening of the keep, in 1453. Galleries and a grand staircase, the latter attributed to designs by Leonardo da Vinci, were added in 1520. Much of the mediaeval building was demolished in 1615 when the courtyard was opened out and improvements were made to honour a visit by Louis XIII of France. There was some rebuilding in 1760, following a fire.
Following subsidence problems affecting the keep in the 1960s, the building is currently in the midst of restoration, during which time one wing remains a family home and much of the rest is open to the public. Guided tours of the libraries are sometimes available, and there are costumes for children and adults to wear during their exploration of the rest of the public areas, which include several furnished rooms, and some of the foundations within the rock.
In the village is a classic car dealership which is open to the public 365 days of the year and is decorated with motoring memorabilia, functioning essentially as a free-to-enter motor museum.
- François de La Rochefoucauld (cardinal)
- François de La Rochefoucauld (writer)
- Communes of the Charente department
- Château de La Rochefoucauld visitors' handout.
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