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200+ km west of Troyes and just a couple of hours on the autoroute.
The English connection with the region is generally remembered as part of an earlier conflict, The Hundred Years War, and especially Joan of Arc. This is how Orléans tells the story today. « Orléans est aussi la ville de Jeanne d’Arc depuis que cette héroïne a libéré la cité assiégée par les Anglais, en 1429. Pendant la Guerre de Cent Ans, la levée de ce siège marqua le début de la reconquête des territoires occupés par les Anglais.
Orléans Office de tourisme”

Orléans, has been twinned with with Wichita, Kansas, since 1973, formalising a bond forged during the Second World War with Kansan soldiers who helped liberate Orléans from Nazi occupation in 1944.
However, it was recently announced that, for its 300th birthday, with New Orléans USA is to be twinned with its French namesake, Orléans. I was surprised to read that New Orleans was not named for the French town; in 1718 Le Moyne, a second generation French pioneer, founded the outpost and named it for Philippe II, then Duke of Orléans.
La République du Centre, a French regional daily, reports that the date being mooted for the signing is January 6 2018, a day dear to the people of Orléans as it marks the 606th anniversary of the birth of Joan of Arc (c. 1412 –1431).
I think my history teacher told us of the liaison between England and the Duchy of Burgundy in fighting the Kingdom of France; a liaison which saw Joan captured, tried for heresy and cross-dressing and executed. The war ended 20 years later and a retrial found she had been innocent, enabling her to be declared St Joan of Arc.
The school I attended in Willesden, London was one of many schools arising from the original founded at Lyon, France, in October 1818, by Claudine Thévenet, so they will also be celebrating in 2018. The schools were “to educate and help the children of the poor in the city and later to give girls a Christian education conformable to their social position”. Others can judge how successful they were in my case. Will I be asked to the celebrations? On verra.
Picture public domain Author “unk” (sic).

posted 14.12.17

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