Château de Chinon: Detail, top of Tour d'Horlge, the clock tower
Founded by Theobald I, Count of Blois; in the 11th century the castle became the property of the counts of Anjou. King Henry II of England, a member of the house of Anjou, took the castle from his brother Geoffrey in 1156 after he rebelled a second time and it proved to be a favored residence. Most of the standing structure (encompassing a site over 500 metres long and 75m wide) can be attributed to his reign and in 1189 he died at Château de Chinon. Used by Charles VII in the 15th century; it was the site of the first meeting of Joan of Arc and Charles VII. The castle was used as a prison in the second half of the 16th century before it fell out of use and was left to decay. Since 1840, the castle has been recognized as a monument historique. Between 2003 and 2010 the castle was the subject of a massive excavation and restoration project, costing 14.5 million euros.