16 of 365 "Aquitaine Coeur Nord"

"Duché de Coeur is a ficticious name for the area of western France that is made up of the real life names Provence, Languedoc, Aquitaine, and Poitou, and further to the north, Normandie and Touraine, and to the far east, Franca Contea. We have attempted to recreate a world of friendship and romance as it might have been around the Age of Enlightenment. We prefer to think of this as a real life environment with real people, but 225 years ago in an idealistic world where all classes live together in harmony.

You may participate in role play here, in which case it is generally considered to be somewhere in the last half of the 18th century, prior to the French Revolution. Documents located throughout the duchy seem to imply it is around 1785 +/- 4 years.

Why this Time and Place?
* Much of western government and ideals are based on concepts that were discussed by some of the greatest thinkers in England and France in the Age of Enlightenment. Centers of thought including L'Académie Francaise, L'Academie Royale des Sciences, and L'Academie Royale de Musique, were some of the most important public institutions that caused people to question established thought. This was perhaps an unintended side effect that people would become educated and begin to reason about age old myths. The power of the church and monarchy was questioned during this time.

* France was arguably the center of Enlightenment in the 18th century that had a direct effect on the government of the United States, and thereafter many governments of Europe, including France itself.

What the Duchy is Not:
* The Duchy is not about a "court" and does not cater to "nobles". Most historians estimate that in 1789, there were 140,000 nobles of a population of 27 million residents in France. Therefore, nobles made up less than 1% of the French population. If you are here to get a title, check out one of the other historical sims from this time period. It can be done in the duchy, but it is a very slow process and you can be assured that those that have a duchy title really deserve them!

* We have no militia, and any role play rarely engages in battles or hunts with guns. Any kind of weapon related event in the duchy is generally a skilled sport.

* The Duchy is not primarily a role play sim. The Role Play we do have is generally "in the spirit" of our time. We have no assigned character roles other than your class and choice of career.

Travel Guide
Languedoc Coeur represents an area built around 1681 along the Canal du Midi about the time of its completion. There is a chateau on one side of the canal with a formal ballroom, opera house, library, apartments, and a chapel. Boutiques and apartments are located on the other side of the canal. There are an extensive series of caves located below the chateau that are accessible by rowboat.

Provence Coeur also has merchant shops in the town square located at the south end of the canal and behind the square on the west side. Marie Antoinette's "Queen's Hamlet" is located on the east side of the region. This is based on the actual Queen's Hamlet located on the grounds of the Versailles palace west of Paris. Residences are located on the south and west sides of the region. These residences continue into Aquitaine among a series of streams.

North of this residential area, and west of Languedoc, is Ville d'Aquitaine which is a representation of a number of villages in the real life Dordogne region of France. This area has shops and residences. A castle sits high on a hill near the north side, a whitewater river flows on the west side, and the Canal du Midi heads from Languedoc north through a working canal lock.

The canal continues through Poitou to a lake. (This region was originally flat and marshy, like real life Poitou. However, it is now more like Aquitaine on the north side with a higher elevation and lots of lakes and waterways). This area has some isolated houses near a lake and the sea. North of Poitou is the Touraine area with a remote village and some large estates.

South of Aquitaine are two other remote park-like regions. These are primarily residential areas, but you may ride carriages, horses, or boats to explore. There are also areas for dancing, a park for picnics, a blacksmith shop, and other places to explore.

We encourage you to travel around the sim by horse, carriage, or by rowboat. The best way to get an overview is to call a carriage (from one of the many posts marking the name of the area). Once seated, click and choose a location from the menu. Boats in the canal may be used to explore the waterways and caves. Note that carriages and horses typically pass on the left side, as was normal prior to the French Revolution.

We recommend that you wear historic costumes, but it isn't necessary (clothing *is* required ;). There are about 20 shops in the duchy that sell clothing from our time period."

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