• [Plans_et_vues_du_Poitou]_Tassin_Christophe_btv1b531567876_1170x655

    Image courtesy Bibliothèque nationale de France

Richelieu is a model town in France. It is human scaled, perfectly proportioned, at once urban and rural, an experiment in building a new community.

Designed in the 17th century it pioneered a new approach to town planning. Inspired by the ‘ideal town’ of both the ancient and Renaissance world, its founder Cardinal Richelieu worked with prestigious architect Jacques Lemercier to create a grandiose theatrical setting along strictly rational geometric lines. This exquisite town of symmetrical squares and avenues is surrounded by a moat and adjoins a grand park with formal flower gardens, parterres, tree lined avenues, pavilions and a ‘demi-lune’ for classical statuary