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Chinon(shēnôN`), town (1993 est. pop. 8,961), Indre-et-Loire dept., W central France, in Touraine, on the Vienne River. Chinon was an important medieval town and many buildings (notably three churches) from that period are preserved. Its castle, overlooking the river, consists of three distinct fortresses built from the 11th to the 15th cent.—the Château Saint-Georges, the Château du Milieu, and the Château du Coudray. The builders of the castle included Philip II of France, Richard I of England (the Lionhearted), and Henry II of France (who died there in 1559). In the Château du Milieu in 1429 Joan of Arc presented herself to Charles VII of France and correctly identified him although he was disguised. In La Devinière, a nearby hamlet, stands the house where the poet Rabelais was born (c.1490).
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