Le relais des rois - hystory
2km upstream from Saintes, the Charente river forms a large meander. The small port of Disconche was once located there. A castle was built there in the mid-sixteenth century. But the feoff was even older: it fell under the Priory Church of St.-Eutropius and the Seigneury of Gonds. The castle is mentioned for the first time in a quit-rent document dated 1559 at the Charity Hospital in Saintes.
The castle was probably erected by Isaac Mage de Fiefmelin, a Lawyer in Saintes.
From the castle of the sixteenth century, there remains only a Renaissance style door. The keystone bears a hammered escutcheon where a cross is still to be seen, the coat of arms of the Mage family, that reads "Sand-colored with a cross embedded with gold". The escutcheon is flanked by two tablets with two Latin inscriptions meaning: "The stars led the Magi to Christ" and "The cross of Christ will lead the Magi to the stars" (that is to say to heaven, or paradise). These are eloquent coats of arms, which play on the surname "Mage", a play on words very much appreciated in the sixteenth century.
In 1565, the castle saw the passing of Charles IX, who was travelling from Bayonne to La Rochelle, and on September 15, 1620, of Louis XIII, who travelled the West at that time to stifle possible rebellion among Protestants: on May 03, 1622, that same king was on his way to besiege the City of Royan, after taking control of Saint-Jean d'Angely… And then, of Louis XIV in 1650, of the Queen of Spain in 1679 and, on December 26, 1700, of the Duke of Anjou, Philippe, who was on his way to Spain to assume the crown. He sailed up the course of the Charente, from Saintes to Disconche, with his retinue aboard a fleet of 9 vessels because the road was impassable, and the castle witnessed repeated shouts of "Vive le Roi!" cried out by the sailors, happy to have received a gratuity of one hundred Louis.