After his coronation trip in the summer of 1429, Charles VII returned to his plans to unite the kingdom. He travelled non-stop to do so. His presence in the flesh was a tool both for government and for recapturing his lands. The time spent in the Loire Valley was no more than breaks between expeditions (the Dauphiné in 1434, Montpellier in 1437 and Auvergne in 1439). The journeys became longer and more frequent, despite retaking the capital, Paris, in 1436.

It was only after 1440 that these travels became less necessary. The King’s authority was sufficiently strong and the royal state had strengthened. So his stays in Touraine lengthened and he alternated between periods of truce (1444) and victorious campaigns (in Normandy in 1450 and Guyenne in 1453). He left the kingdom only once, going on a long trip to Nancy in 1445. The King never left the Loire Valley again after 1458. Charles VII covered almost all of the 400,000 km2 and 300 towns of his kingdom, showing particular interest in central regions.


Martial d’Auvergne, “Charles VII and his army”, Vigils of Charles VII, 1484-1485, French 5054, folio 156. © BnF.