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Customers having a quite lunchtime drink outside the Bar de l'Hotel de Ville (Town Hall Bar) in the town of Richelieu.

Some information taken from a somewhat longer article about the town and château on Wikipedea:

Richelieu is a commune in the Indre-et-Loire department in central France. It lies south of Chinon and west of Sainte-Maure de Touraine and is surrounded by mostly agricultural land. Its inhabitants are called Richelais, and Richelaises. Because of its design as the "ideal city" of the seventeenth century, the town is the subject of various protective measures as regards its architecture.

The town was built on the instructions of Cardinal Richelieu adjacent to an existing château (now destroyed), which belonged to the Cardinal's family.

The town is about 700 meters long by 500 meters wide. It is accessible by three monumental gates; a fourth, dummy gate exists to respect the symmetry of the whole. The urban plan revolves around two symmetrically arranged places: Place Royale and the Place du Cardinal (now Place du Marché pictured here), in which are grouped the presbytery, the "audience" (now the town hall), a covered open market hall (still surviving, with wooden pillars and roof beams) and shops.

To ensure quick settlement, the Cardinal imposed no city taxes. In return, buyers of plots for construction undertook to build within two years a "flag" or a house according to the plans and specifications filed with the court of the city, while being forced to chose as builder one of the Cardinal's appointees. A register of specific transactions is kept, allowing historians to know today the list of owners of the original buildings of the city.

Upon the death of Cardinal, the city ceased to grow, but continued to have illustrious visitors, like Louis XIV of France, Jean de La Fontaine, and Voltaire. According to La Fontaine, Richelieu was at the time of writing the "most beautiful village of the universe."

In 1790, during the convening of the Estates General, representatives of the town of Richelieu sat with those of Mirebeau in the delegation of Saumur, within the generality of Tours. The same year, the town of Richelieu was separated from Saumur to integrate with the then new Department of Indre-et-Loire.

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6305 W: 61 N: 18289] (82547)
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