Château de Durtal is located halfway between Angers and Le Mans. Built on a rocky promontory, it overlooks the Loir Valley.
Hostilities between the counties of Anjou and Maine prompted Foulque Nerra to lay the first foundations of the Durtal castle as early as 1040. Built on a rocky promontory, this feudal fortress served as a strategic rampart to defend his lands. In the middle of the 11th century, his son Geoffroy de Martel completed the construction of the castle.
The current castle dates from the 15th century, after the Hundred Years' War. It was built by the La Jaille family.
It served as one of the residences of the Marshal of France François de Scépaux and, a century later, of Henri de Schomberg. The castle received visits from members of the royal family and the court and hosted King René, Charles IX, and Henri II.
The increase in commercial exchanges along the Loir River in the 16th century led to the gradual enrichment of the region and the zenith of the castle, marking the beginning of a transformation into a palace where Louis XIII and Marie de Médicis stayed. In the 17th century, the Duke of La Rochefoucauld made the castle one of his many residences.
In 1859, the castle housed the town's hospital, served by the Sisters of Sainte-Marie d'Angers. The transformation mutilated some rooms and interior decorations.
In 2007, the castle was purchased by the politician Alain Suguenot and his family.References:
The Church of St Donatus name refers to Donatus of Zadar, who began construction on this church in the 9th century and ended it on the northeastern part of the Roman forum. It is the largest Pre-Romanesque building in Croatia.
The beginning of the building of the church was placed to the second half of the 8th century, and it is supposed to have been completed in the 9th century. The Zadar bishop and diplomat Donat (8th and 9th centuries) is credited with the building of the church. He led the representations of the Dalmatian cities to Constantinople and Charles the Great, which is why this church bears slight resemblance to Charlemagne"s court chapels, especially the one in Aachen, and also to the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. It belongs to the Pre-Romanesque architectural period.
The circular church, formerly domed, is 27 m high and is characterised by simplicity and technical primitivism.