Typical ancient village in the Meuse valley, Vaucouleurs invites in a timeless discovery. It is during the visit on the historical places, vestiges full of history, that you may be able to meet Joan the Maid of Lorraine.
Come and discover the castle’s chapel, or admire the statue of Our Lady of the Vaults of the 14th century, in the heart of the crypt, where our heroine loved so much to pray.
That is what the Musée Jehanne d'Arc offers you to discover. Situated in the wing of the city hall, it reminds us the crucial role that the city of Vaucouleurs played in Joan of Arc's epic tale.
Almost 300 pieces, gathering drawings, scale models, advertising objects, plans of stained-glass windows, are scattered in 3 rooms, with very different but complementary approaches.
Venture there and Joan will come to light for you!
In the 15th century, Sir Robert de Baudricourt is Captain of the French royal garrison at Vaucouleurs.
During this period, future King Charles VII has only 4 cities in the North of the River Loire: Mont-Saint-Michel, Vaucouleurs, Orléans and Tournai.
On the 13th May 1428, Joan of Arc entered the castle for the first time to ask for an escort to go to Chinon to meet the Dauphin. Baudricourt did not give it until her third request, and on the 23rd February 1429, she was finally able to leave Vaucouleurs by the Porte de France. The inhabitants of Vaucouleurs forged a sword for her and gave her a horse and men clothes. Baudricourt gave her a letter of accreditation to give to the Dauphin at her arrival.
A few centuries later, an other Joan let a trace in French History: Jeanne Bécu, better known as the Comtesse du Barry.
Vaucouleurs takes its name from the Latin name Vallis Colorum: the Valley of Colours. During the Gallo-Roman period, Vaucouleurs was an amphitheater on a hill overlooking the valley.
In 1026, the city erected its first castle under the direction of Etienne de Vaux. Destroyed in 1056, its son Geoffroy I rebuilt it.
During the 11th century, under Louis VI, the city built an enclosing wall reinforced with 17 towers. For the first time, in 1325, Vaucouleurs became a French royal city under Charles V who nominated here a governor.
In 1793, the castle’s chapel dating from the 12th century, the COLLEGIALE and the gates which blocked the traffic were destroyed to facilitate the access.
During the different wars, the City of Vaucouleurs was spared from destructions. It allows you today to come and visit the Tour des Anglais, a vestige of the surrounding wall dating from the 12th century, as well as the Tour du Roi, which is now a private enclosed property.