the pretty turret of this 16th century Donjon in Niort
The Donjon de Niort or Château de Niort (the former is most often used today) is a medieval castle in the French town of Niort in the département of Deux-Sèvres. It consists of two square towers, linked by a 15th century building and dominates the Sèvre Niortaise valley.
Following Henry II’s marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine, the English Crown controlled most of western France. Needing a secure base from which to maintain links with England, Niort was strategically placed as a site where Henry could maintain a garrison and supplies of personnel and weapons. He chose a site on the banks of the Sèvre on an earlier site. (Historians differ over the attribution; a recent hypothesis suggest that Henry’s son Richard the Lionheart may have been responsible.)
At the start of the 13th century, the townspeople of Niort were besieged by Poitevin lords from the surrounding area, who blocked the entrances to the town and cut off provisions. This blockade lasted several years and threatened starvation. The castle, with its own sources of provisions, notably from the river, became the sole supplier for the town. In 1224 the castle returned to English hands.
I could keep on with the history of this wonderful Castle but I think you might all nod off!!
Hand Held Pentax Optio M50