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Orléans and Joan of Arc

Orléans and Joan of Arc

Throughout the world and in all languages, Joan of Arc appears in all cultures. One spring in the 15th century, her unusual story gave Orléans extraordinary influence. After the defeat of Agincourt in 1415, France was in a pitiful state and was disputed by the Armagnac party and the Burgundian party.

At that time there were "three Frances": Normandy, Picardie, Ile de France and Aquitaine under the English domination of the House of Lancaster; Burgundy, Champagne and Flanders under the domination of Burgundy and, finally, the kingdom of Bourges belonging to the heir apparent Charles who had been refused succession in 1420.  

After the death of Henri V Plantagenêt, the Duke of Bedford, who married the sister of the Duke of Burgundy, became the kingdom's regent. He wanted to extend his territory and laid siege and occupied the towns of the Loire. This was how Joan of Arc intervened in the history of France and of Orléans.

29 April 1429: at nightfall, without English resistance, Joan arrived in Orléans. She stayed at the home of Jacques Boucher, the treasurer of the Duke of Orléans.
30 April: council of war. A warning to the English. On her return, Joan received nothing but insults.
4 May: Joan's presence fired the French armies. Bastille Saint-Loup was taken!
7 May: attack on Boulevard des Tourelles. The attack was difficult. Joan took part but she received a wound to her shoulder. She was carried away and the retreat was sounded. Refusing to withdraw, Joan took up her weapon again: the boulevard was taken, then the fort. Joan entered Orléans over the bridge as she had said she would that morning.
8 May: the two armies were present. Joan of Arc ordered a mass to be said at the site. Once it was over, the English departed: the siege was lifted.
Since 1430, apart from on a few rare occasions, Orléans has always fervently celebrated its heroine every year.

See also:

Joan of Arc's house

The Joan of Arc Centre

Joan of Arc Festivities


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