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Coordinates: 47°13′02″N 0°03′28″E / 47.2172°N 0.0578°E / 47.2172; 0.0578
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Top to bottom, left to right: Panoramic view of the village from the Loire; Château de Montsoreau-Museum of Contemporary Art; Typical street of Monstoreau listed among the most beautiful villages of France; Sunset in Montsoreau from the Château de Montsoreau-Museum of Contemporary Art
Coat of arms of Montsoreau
Location of Montsoreau
Montsoreau is located in France
Montsoreau is located in Pays de la Loire
Coordinates: 47°13′02″N 0°03′28″E / 47.2172°N 0.0578°E / 47.2172; 0.0578
RegionPays de la Loire
SubdivisionsArrondissement of Saumur
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Gérard Persin
 • Municipality5.19 km2 (2.00 sq mi)
 • Urban
5.19 km2 (2.00 sq mi)
 • Metro
1,234 km2 (476 sq mi)
 • Municipality544
 • Density100/km2 (270/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Urban density19,000/km2 (50,000/sq mi)
 • Metro
 • Metro density81/km2 (210/sq mi)
Montsorellien(ne) (fr)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
49219 /49730
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Montsoreau (French pronunciation: ​[mɔ̃soʁo]) is a town in France. Only 500 people live there. It is in the east end of the region of Pays de la Loire, in the north western France. The Chateau de Montsoreau-Museum of Contemporary Art is in the town.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] Montsoreau is both listed part of the Loire Valley, a UNESCO world heritage site, and among the most beautiful villages of France.[10][11][12][13][14]

History[change | change source]

The main evidence of early settlement is the dolmen of the Pierrelée, which probably dates from the 3rd millennium BC. Montsoreau is located on the borders of the territories of the Gallic tribes of Pictones, Turones and Andecavi. Coins, shards and fragments of Gallo-Roman tiles were found in Montsoreau, especially on the edge of the plateau above the town.

Montsoreau was identified under the name Restis (rope or fish net) at the end of classical antiquity as a port on the Loire at the confluence of the Loire and the Vienne. It kept this name until the end of the eleventh century. The name Montsoreau (Mount Soreau) comes from a rocky promontory in the riverbed of the Loire and surrounded by water.[15] There have been three major buildings on this promontory, a Gallo-Roman temple or administrative building, a fortified castle, and a Renaissance palace.[16]

The first fortified castle was built by the count of Blois at the end of the tenth century, immediately taken by The Count of Anjou, Fulk Nerra, who took the fortress in 1001 and incorporated it to Anjou.[17] Fulk, who was one of the first great builders of castles, modified it, and the fortress remained under the control of Anjou, never taken, for more than 150 years.

In 1152, Guillaume IV de Montsoreau sided with Geoffroy Plantagenet against his brother Henry II Plantagenet, future king of England and husband of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Henri II besieged the castle and took it at the end of August 1152.[18] This was the only storming of the fortress of Montsoreau between Fulk and Jean II de Chambes in 1450.[19]

At the end of the Hundred Years War, Charles VII and Louis XI installed royal power in Chinon. They encouraged or ordered their lords to build new buildings or redevelop old fortresses. Thus began the construction of buildings in a new style in France, giving birth to Renaissance architecture, with the renowned "Châteaux of the Loire Valley".[20]

In 1450, Jean II de Chambes, first counsellor of Charles VII and ambassador in Venice, bought the fortress of Fulk III to his brother in law and destroyed it in order to build a residential palace on the top of the rock of Montsoreau.[21] He built the Château de Montsoreau in a residential style following Italian architecture of the time which makes it the first Renaissance building in France. The Château de Montsoreau was directly on the river bank and it is the only château to have been built in the river bed of the Loire.[22]

In 1572, four days after Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre (24 August) in Paris, Jean de Chambes started the "St. Bartolomew Angevine". He almost eliminated the Reformed Church both in Saumur and Angers.[23] After the French Revolution, the exploitation of a building stone, the Tuffeau stone, increased its population of 600 inhabitants to more than 1000, maintained during the first half of the nineteenth century.[24]

The battle of Saumur, is considered as the first act of resistance of World War II in France.

In Montsoreau, Saumur and Gennes, in June 1940, teenage students of the school of cavalry, still under training and with derisory weapons (including an artillery gun from the school museum), heroically engaged an entire German panzer division for nearly three days. And in doing so became a legend in France. – For Honour Alone, Roy Macnab, January 1989.[25]

Geography[change | change source]

Location[change | change source]

Montsoreau is at the center of the Loire Valley, in north-western France, 160 km (99 mi) from the Atlantic Ocean, and approximately 12 km (7.5 mi) from Saumur, Chinon and Bourgueil.[26] It is in southeastern Maine-et-Loire department, about halfway between Paris and Bordeaux.[27] The village is at the crossroad of the three main administrative regions of Pays de la Loire, Centre-Val de Loire, and Nouvelle-Aquitaine, and of the three departments of Maine-et-Loire, Indre-et-Loire, and Vienne.

Montsoreau is part of the Metropolitan Area of Saumur Val de Loire and share borders with municipalities both in the Maine-et-Loire and Indre-et-Loire departments. These municipalities are: Candes-Saint-Martin, Chouzé-sur-Loire, Fontevraud-l'Abbaye, and Turquant.

2-mile Montsoreau Skyline Panorama from Quai Alexandre Dumas to Than Island, taken in October 2018 from Than Island, Loire Valley.

Climate[change | change source]

Climate data for Montsoreau
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 16.9
Average high °C (°F) 11.1
Daily mean °C (°F) 6.2
Average low °C (°F) 8.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 66
Average snowy days 1.7 1.9 1.4 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.4 1.3 7.0
Average relative humidity (%) 88 84 80 77 77 75 74 76 80 86 89 89 81.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 69.9 90.3 144.2 178.5 205.6 228 239.4 236.4 184.7 120.6 67.7 59.2 1,824.5
Source 1: Climatologie mensuelle à la station de Montreuil-Bellay.[28]
Source 2: Infoclimat.fr (humidity, snowy days 1961–1990)[29]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Recensement 2009". insee.fr. Insee.
  2. "Ettore Sottsass ou la liberté guidant l'artiste". Le Monde.fr (in French). Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  3. "Chateau de Montsoreau – FIAC". fiac.com (in French). 23 September 2017. Archived from the original on 30 September 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  4. "chateau-de-montsoreau-copie". artpress.com (in French). Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  5. "Everybody Talks About Collecting with Their Eyes, Not Their Ears; Few Do It Like Philippe Meaille". Art Market Monitor. 2014-09-22. Archived from the original on 2019-03-27. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  6. "Largest Art & Language Collection Finds Home – artnet News". artnet News. 23 June 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  7. "Everybody Talks About Collecting with Their Eyes, Not Their Ears; Few Do It Like Philippe Meaille". Art Market Monitor. 22 September 2014. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  8. "Ettore Sottsass, rebelle et poète au pays du design". Marie Claire (in French). Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  9. "French Collector Pulls Loans from MACBA After Catalonia Referendum". Artforum. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  10. "The Loire Valley, a UNESCO world heritage site, The Loire Valley, a journey through France". Val de Loire, une balade en France. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  11. tourisme, Anjou. "The Loire Valley river, a UNESCO World Heritage treasure". anjou-loire-valley.co.uk. Archived from the original on 22 November 2018. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  12. "Les châteaux de la Loire, un itinéraire au fil de l'eau". Geo.fr (in French). 19 August 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  13. "Montsoreau, France: travel and tourism, attractions and sightseeing and Montsoreau reviews". francethisway.com. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  14. "Montsoreau, Loire Valley; a beautiful village on the banks of the Loire river". loirevalleyfrance.net. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  15. Stalder, Florient (2013). "Diagnostic en vue de l'établissement d'une Aire de Valorisation de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine" (PDF). Ville de Montsoreau.
  16. Prigent, D. (2003). Congrès archéologique de France. Paris: Société française d'archéologie. p. 255.
  17. Guillot, O. (1972). Le comte d'Anjou et son entourage au XIe siècle. Paris. p. 310.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  18. Desme de Chavigny, O. (1888). Les anciens seigneurs de Montsoreau. Tours. p. 18.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  19. "CHATEAU DE MONTSOREAU: Castles France, Pays de la Loire". paysdelaloire.co.uk. Archived from the original on 28 September 2018. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  20. Loire, Mission Val de. "Charles VII et Louis XI Val de Loire patrimoine mondial". valdeloire.org (in French). Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  21. "Château de Montsoreau-Musée d'Art Contemporain". Les Châteaux de la Loire (in French). Archived from the original on 30 September 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  22. "Château de Montsoreau, l'art contemporain à portée de fleuve". parangone.fr (in French). Archived from the original on 28 July 2017. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  23. Bourquin, Laurent (2001). Les nobles, la ville et le roi : l'autorité nobiliaire en Anjou pendant les Guerres de religion, 1560–1598. Paris: belin. ISBN 2-7011-2976-1.
  24. Stalder, F. (2013). Fontevraud-L’Abbaye et Montsoreau, un regard sur le Saumurois. Nantes: 303.
  25. Macnab, Roy (January 1989). "History Today: For Honour Alone".
  26. Distance Calculator
  27. Paris is 155 miles (249 km) air distance from Montsoreau, and Bordeaux is 167 miles (269 km) air distance from Montsoreau. – Distance Calculator
  28. "Climatologie de l'année 2017 à Montreuil-Bellay – Grande-Champagne". infoclimat.fr (in French).
  29. "Normes et records 1961–1990: Angers-Beaucouzé (49) – altitude 50m" (in French). Infoclimat. Retrieved 9 January 2016.