History always repeats itself…

So Dominic Cummings has left No.10 (and I rejoice with the news!). Well, it is always the case, isn’t it? The tail gets too big for the head and as a result, it’s get casted off.

The angry-faced land turtle’s fall from the grace reminds me about another such man, Jacques Cœur. A famous self-made man in the 15th Century Bourges France.

Mum and I visited Bourges during our road trip in 2018 and had an opportunity to visit Jacques Cœurs Palace which was one of the tourist attractions.

Jacques Cœurs Palace on the left!

As the name suggests, the place was built by Jacques Cœurs, who was born as a son of a marchant around the end of the 14th Century. Despite his humble origin, he amassed his wealth through hard work and his knack for successful business dealings.

French château style

Because of his outstanding financial acumen, Charles VII made him master of mint in 1436. The king’s instruction to Cœur was to reform the present coinage system and he must have impressed the king with the end result so much because the king decided to promote him as steward of the royal expenditure three years later.

A huge fireplace!
Simple but beautiful masonry work
All the rooms were huge!
Beautiful decor!

His rise to a position of influence was symbolised by the ennoblement of him and his family in 1441. The king sent him to numerous important foreign missions as ambassador.

Another ornate fireplace…
Overdoor sculpture…
Another reference to Cœur’s wealth through trading overseas…
More intimate gallery with a model of the palace…

With his amassed fortune through his various offices of states, he built more than a few palatial properties and the Bourges’ one was most luxurious amongst them.

Family chapel was most richly decorated…
Beautiful ceiling!
A tour coming almost to the end…

Jacques Coœur’s fall from the grace came in 1451 when the king ordered his arrest.

Is this Cœur himself?

Because of Cœur’s monopoly over banking and trading caused lots of resentment amongst his contemporaries, even the king himself. Around his arrest, the king was planning a campaign for Guienne and the seizure of the accused’s assets was convenient addition to his war chest.

Out of door, out of pocket…

Those people, who ousted from the power, never learn from history, do they? The reality is, nobody is indispensable and if you make too many enemies, you will be pushed out in the cold sooner or later.

The place was confiscated by the king…

In the 19th Century, the place was used as a courthouse and underwent a careful restoration work in the 20th Century.

‘Shall we move on, Mum?’ we decided to head towards the town centre for late lunch.

Bourges

In spite of our hotel being right next to a large church, their bell stayed silent and therefore it didn’t wake us up in the morning. ‘No Sunday survive, today?’, we wondered as we got ready to check out from the hotel.

A quiet Sunday morning…

I left mum and some of our luggage on a side street and went to the car park and retrieve our car. That morning, we were heading to Bourges, 342km away from Lyon.

Lyon to Bourges!
Bourges, here we come!

After 4 hours on the road, we arrived at Bourges in early afternoon. The streets were virtually empty and the whole place seemed to be having a nap after a Sunday lunch.

Where is everybody?

I left mum in a hotel lobby and moved our car to a cobbled side street. The inside of the hotel was as quiet as the outside. And it took for a while until a receptionist to notice our arrival. ‘So sorry. I didn’t realise that you are here!’, she apologised and handed us card keys.

Our room was on the second floor and it had a large window facing a courtyard.

Sumptuous beds to stretch out!

After unpacking some of the luggage, we decided to explore Bourges’ old town centre.

Only a few people on the streets

Originally, Bourges was inhabited by the Gauls until Julius Caesar’s forces captured and destroyed it in 52 BC. The Romans reconstructed the town in the Roman style with aqueducts, Roman baths and an amphitheatre. Julius Caesar himself was fond of the place and as a result, the place was substantially equipped and fortified as a stronghold.

In the 12th century, Bourges became a royal city. It was because Eudes Arpin, the Viscount of Bourges, sold his possessions to Philip I, the king of France, in order to finance his crusade. In 1137, his second son, Louis VII, was crowned in the old Cathedral of Bourges while his young wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, presided. If you are into history of medieval Europe like me, the name like Eleanor of Aquitaine really excite you, doesn’t it? She ran away from her religious husband and into the arms of Henry II of Plantagenet! And this Henry, his feud with Thomas Becket, aka Saint Thomas of Canterbury! It’s so enticing…

After negotiating a few cobbled streets on foot, we reached at the perimeter of the old town centre.

Over the stair into the town centre

Beyond the stone stairs, there was Palais Jacques Coeur, a palatial house of a (very) wealthy French man. And I am going to write about our visit in my next entry!:)

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