Where did the poisoning witch the Duchesse d’Orléans take refuge….?


In Paris at the end of the 14th century the unfortunate Duchesse d’Orléans , Valentina Visconti, was accused of using witchcraft upon the mentally ill Charles VI, and of poisoning his Dauphin, Charles. I doubt she was guilty of either. It was all politics and sneaky enemies. Isn’t it always? Louis d’Orléans was himself accused of using black magic to bring on Charles’s psychosis. Anyway, alarmed, Louis took her away to the reasonably nearby Château d’Asnières for safety. He didn’t leave her there unloved but visited her and their children a lot. They had much in common and theirs had been a happy marriage.

However…even though it’s clear there was a Château d’Asnières in the 14th century, no matter how I try to learn about it, all I find is that a château materialised at the end of the 17th century where (apparently) none had been before. Why? What happened to the original? To look online one might almost be excused for thinking there had never been a Château d’Asnières before the 17th century. I can even find out that some chairs contained in this later version had in the 20th century belonged to Coco Chanel. But that the poisoning witch Duchesse d’Orléans had fled there some time before April 1396? Nope. Not even in the Anecdotes section of the French Wikipedia! French Wikipedia

Maybe I have the wrong Château d’Asnières?

I’m left trying to guess what the original château was like. But, incongruously almost, there is an illustration of the unfortunate Duchesse Valentina fleeing to refuge there in 1396. Well, it shows her leaving Paris. Full stop.

You can read more about Valentina and the accusations against her in an interesting article here.



  1. Intriguing. There seem to be a few places in France called Asnieres. I got a selection of images of castles in some of them by googling “Chateau Asnieres medieval” but the url is just too long to post

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: