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The pretty town of Richelieu in Limouges takes its name from its founder, Cardinal Richelieu who was the senior cleric in King Louis XIII's reign and as such the most powerful person in France after the king at the time. The Cardinal, who features as a villain in the Three Musketeers, decided to build himself a great mansion on his estate but not content with a grand palace he also built a walled town. It was built on a grid with straight streets leading from the four gates to the central square. Two thousand labourers worked on the site for more than a decade. The town was original moated, but today most of this area alongside the moats is now used by the householders as gardens. The Cardinal's chateau was subsequently plundered and damaged in the French Revolution then demolished but its gardens remain.
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