Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Chateau Des Milandes

The chateau was built in 1489 by Francois de Caumont to please his wife, surely she was pleased. The chateau had to be quite the residence in its day and it would be quite the residence today. In the middle ages the name "Milandes" referred to a wooded land, which it is. This was the Caumont's main residence until 1535. The property had many owner over the years and was in several states of disrepair, today it is quite elegant. In 1937 Josephine Baker
discovered the chateau, rented it until 1947 when she purchased the property. She called it her "Sleeping Beauty Castle"

A tour of the chateau is a tribute to Josephine. A dancer and entertainer, who was born in St.Louis. She was discovered on Broadway and moved to Paris to be in the Follies Bergere. Highly successful she became very wealthy, started her own cabaret and was dressed in very high fashion by top designers. During the war she was part of the resistance and decorated for her service. It is a fascinating story of a life well lived.

The final part of the tour was a display of raptors: hawks, owls, bald eagle and a falcon. We lucked into this performance and it was wonderful. Think of owls, hawks, and falcon flying right over your head, without landing of course. Quite a display of aeronautics by the birds.

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