The royal abbey of La Réau (Saint-Martin-l’Ars) was founded “in the days of Eleanor”. But there is no document stating exactly which king was responsible for its foundation. A papal bull dated 1219 confirms the freedoms and exemptions granted to the abbey by Henry II Plantagenet King of England (died 1189), but does not provide any details of its original foundation, which was probably much earlier.
There is no doubt that the coveted heiress and twice Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, played a political role and that she remains a key figure in the history of the Poitou region.
Born in 1122 or 1124, granddaughter of William IX the Troubadour, she succeeded William X, Count of Poitou and Duke of Aquitaine.
In 1137, she married the future Louis VII who acceded to the French throne shortly afterwards. Eleanor’s lands, which stretched from the Loire to the Pyrenees, were then added to the royal domain. During the Second Crusade (1147-1149), there was a disagreement between the two spouses and the marriage was annulled in 1152.
A few weeks later, Eleanor married Henry Plantagenet who became King of England in 1154. She therefore brought with her a vast estate, making her second husband’s kingdom larger than that of the King of France. This alliance was the origin of the Anglo-French conflict which was to continue up until the 15th century! After a great deal of family turmoil linked to the succession to the throne of the kingdom of England, towards the end of her life Eleanor withdrew to the Abbey of Fontevraud, and died in 1204.
This circuit is one of 14 circuits known collectively as "Au Temps d'Aliénor", located in the Saint Martin l'Ars, Mauprévoir and Pressac area.
- Difference in height
- 117.89 m
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- 118 meters of difference in height
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