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4/33.- Orleans, Hotel Groslot, Jeanne d'Arc

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This statue of Jeanne d'Arc dates from the 19th century. The story of this French heroine is quite interesting. She was the daughter of a rich farmer family. Since her infancy she told everyone she heard voices inside her mind telling her to free her country, France was invaded by English and Burgundy troops during those times. In 1429 when the English troops besieged Orleans and made it impossible to bring food inside the city, Joan of Arc convinced Charles VII, and with a small army she went to Orleans. Although she was injured by an arrow in her shoulder, her army freed the city. On May 8th 1429, the English troops left the city. This victory had a very positive effect on the moral of the French army. The English were not invincible any more. Since 1430 a celebration takes place in the city to commemorate this event.

But the story of our heroine does not end here. After her victory in Orleans, Joan went to Paris, where she was defeated. She was captured in Compiegne and judged for sorcery. Joan was sentenced to prison. On May 30th 1431 she refused to reconsider her beliefs, and was sentenced to burn in a public bonfire. Although some historians still insist the woman who died in the fire was not her, it is almost sure this is the way she died. In 1456 she was considered a martyr and a symbol of the unity of France. In 1909 she was beatified, and in 1920 she was canonized and proclaimed the Patron Saint of France.

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