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|Domaine de Chantageasse is located in the Vals de Saintonge near the town of Asnières-la-Giraud. The first building of this reinforced farm with several farm buildings and over 1 hectare of land is surrounded by ancient outside walls and goes back to the 17th century. Very turbulent times with many conflicts and struggles between Catholics and the ‘Huguenots', the name that was give to Protestants in the 16th and 17th century.|
This probably explains why the farm holds a hidden chapel. The chapel is not visible from the road, but from the ‘cour’ (courtyard) you can clearly see the stained-glass windows and the old bell seat.|
Saintonge was up to the French Revolution one of the provinces of France, one of the smaller autonomous areas, located on the Atlantic coast opposite to the Île de Ré.
Saintonge was a major center of resistance against Paris, both at the time of the Huguenots as well as at the time of the Terror; the French Revolution, which resulted in the declaration of the French Republic.
These followers of Calvin were persecuted since 1562 for their beliefs and many Huguenots were killed during the bloody religious wars. St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in 1572 took many Huguenot lifes.
The fifth holy war began on February 23, 1574 in Paris. Distinguished Protestants were killed after which lynching’s broke out among the people. 2000 Paris Huguenots were killed that night and in the following months an estimated 18,000 Huguenots were murdered in the rest of France.
The prosecution stops in 1598 after which King Louis XIV resumed again in 1685. This was so intense that most Huguenots fled and left France.
A group of Huguenots immigrated to North America and founded New Rochelle in 1689. Another group went to South Africa, where they were spread out by the Dutch rulers to better integrate them into existing colonies.
The Huguenots, who fled to America and Africa, were in the minority. By far the most left to Prussia, England, and especially to the Netherlands. About 12,000 Huguenots came to Amsterdam, because of this it was around 1700 that a quarter of the Amsterdam population was French; there were French neighborhoods and bars and a French church (de Waalse Kerk).
Many Huguenots ended up in the book business, because this guild allowed alien residents. Of the 230 Amsterdam publishers between 1680 and 1730, 80 were Huguenots. The churches that emerged from these groups of refugees were known as the "Refuge". That some Dutch people have a Huguenot background, is sometimes known only by the Dutch spelling of the French last name:
Blansjaar (Blanchard), Tokkie (Toquet), Dusseljee (i.p.v. Du Cellier), Fransooijs (François), Lenoble (Le Noble) of Kwant (Quant) for example.