in the footsteps of the plantagenet fontevraud and chinon

January, 24th 2011
Seconde européenne « anglais »
January, 24th 2011
The Plantagenet ruled over England from 1154 to 1485. Some of their possessions
were located in France. The first king of the Plantagenet dynasty was Henry II.
Henry II was born in 1133 in France, he became King of England in 1154 and died in 1189
in Chinon. This king was also Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, Count of Anjou and Maine.
The Plantagenet Necropolis
Henry II decided the abbey of Fontevraud was the spiritual center of his royal dynasty.
This abbey became Royal Necropolis when Henry II was buried.
Many princes and princesses were buried in Fontevraud such as :
- Henry II,
- Eleanor of Aquitaine,
- Richard Lionheart,
- Isabella of Angouleme.
Their recumbent statues are the only ones to be preserved (three made of stone and one of
The hearts of other Plantagenet were put into gold urns which were in the crypt.
Fontevraud was the royal necropolis until King John lost Anjou.
The English government tried to transfer the graves to Westminster but they failed.
We haven't any remaining corporal presence of the royal dynasty. Because they were probably
destroyed during the French Revolution. It's possible they were near or in the abbey but the French
government doesn't want any escavation because if the archeologists don't find any remains the
interest will decrease.
The last days
of Henry II
♦ n 1173, encouraged by their mother, Henry, Geoffrey
and Richard rebelled against King Henry II. But they
What is more, King Philip of France proposed a
conference with Henry II in Azay le Rideau on
July, 4th 1189. He imposed several conditions
extremely humiliating for King Henry II.
• Henry II died at the castle of Chinon after
being defeated by his sons Richard and John
in a rebellion.
• He died on July, 7th 1189 of a lingering
fever caused by a broken heart, he was
buried at Fontevraud Abbey.
The statue loses its colours; only the blue, the red and the gold remain.
→ On his head, he carries a crown. It represents monarchy. The precious stones on his crown
symbolize wealth.
→ His eyes are closed, he rests in peace because he had heirs and he divided his lands between
his first three sons.
→ He wears a dress like a Roman gown. It corresponds to the legislative power.
→ There is a sword next to him because, it represents armed and religious strength.
→ He carries a scepter which represents the executive power.
→ He has got spurs on his shoes representing the feudal system. The King was at the top of this
system which controlled the different levels of the society.
Eleanor of Aquitaine
In the Fontevraud Abbey
Who was she ?
She was born in 1122 in Poitou.
She was married to Henry II and she helped her four sons , Henry, Geoffrey, Richard and
John to rebel against their father. Consequently, she was imprisonned for 16 years.
Finally, she died in 1204, in Fontevraud.
Eleanor's tomb effigy
She rests in Fontevraud Abbey with her
husband and her son.
Represented reading the Bible, it
means that she was well - educated.
Her eyes are open, maybe to watch
over John, she's praying to redeem her
Who was Richard the First ?
Richard the First was born on September 8th 1157. He became King of England on July 6th
1189. He was known as Richard the Lionheart because of his reputation as a warrior and leader.
He went to the third Crusade with the King of France(Philip Augustus) and the Emperor of
Germany. On March 25th 1199 he was wounded by an arrow. The wound became gangrenous
and he died on April 6th1199. His body was buried at Fontevraud Abbey.
Richard I and the Angevin Empire
Some information about Richard : He was the son of King Henry II. He became King of
England in 1189.
What was the Angevin Empire ?
The Angevin empire stretched from
Ireland to the Pyrenees. The Angevin
holdings were Normandy, Aquitaine,
Gascony, Anjou, Maine, Nantes, Brittany,
Poitou, Toulouse, and Auvergne.
The Angevin Empire was both seabased and land-based. This empire was
ruled by the Plantagenet Dynasty.
Map made by Cartedeos
Published in 2008 in Wikipédia
Made by Marion and Fanny
Was Richard I a good a
ruler or a bad ruler?
1. A good ruler
Richard I earned the nickname Lionheart
because he was described as strong,
devout, courageous.
Moreover, he was a great military leader and
Richard I
2 – A bad ruler
Richard wanted to earn lands in
France, and to fight against French
King Philip II. But the ordinary
revenues of English Kings were
insufficient for continental wars,
therefore the English elites were
difficult to persuade.
19th-century depiction of Richard leaving the Holy Land
The recumbent statue of Richard the
We can see a wonderful crown with
several emeralds, the eyes are closed, his
mouth is closed , he has a beard and he
has long hair. His head rests on a green
Richard's statue is wearing royal clothes, a blue
cap and a red dress with three yellow and green
stripes. The statue has red knight shoes with
golden spurs. The statue is lying on a shroud. On
the shroud, we see many stars which represent
the sky, so it means that Richard overhung the
Isabella of Angoulême
Isabella of Angoulême was born in 1186.
She was the daughter of Aimer Taillefer,
count of Angoulême. She became countess
of Angoulême in 1202, after her marriage
to King John. She was known for her
beauty. She died in 1246 , she was 60 years
Her life
She was only fourteen when she married
King John.
She bore five children.
After the death of King John, she came
back in France to control her county of
She died in Fontevraud on
May 31, 1246.
She was buried beside her
parents-in-law, Henry II
and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
Her recumbent statue
This is the recumbent of Isabella. She is on a bed,
her head is .... on a pillow.
The end of the Angevin holdings
John was Richard's youngest brother and he was Henry II's fourth son. After the
death of his father and the death of his brother Richard, John inherited the throne of
England and vast lands in France : Normandy, Brittany, Maine, Anjou, Poitou, Aquitaine,
Auvergne and Toulouse.
Philip Augustus became King of France in 1180. He was keen to expand his territory on
the lands held by England which were obvious targets.
The treaty of Le Goulet didn't stop the war. The province of Aquitaine rose up
which was secretly encouraged by King Philip. Philip took the offensive and he swept
all before him. Therefore, John fled to England and in the end of 1204, most of
Normandy and the Angevin lands, including much of Aquitaine had fallen into Philip's
hands. Pushed by his barons in 1206, John launched an invasion, disembarking with his
army at La Rochelle during one of Philip's absences. The offensive was a disaster.
John hoped to reclaim his lands in France but the lands were lost for good.
In 1214 in the battle of Bouvines, Philip defeated John's forces and therefore a treaty was
created called the treaty of Chinon, in which John was forced to accept his defeat, the loss
of his lands, Capetian gains and the authority of Philip Augustus. The lost lands belonged to
France. The French allowed John to return to his kingdom only to suffer new affronts
between him and his barons.
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