February 26 is the Feast Day of Isabelle of France (March 1225 – 23 February 1270.) Isabelle was the daughter of Louis VIII of France and Blanche of Castile.
By virtue of the Treaty of Vendôme in March 1227, Isabelle was betrothed to Hugh, eldest son and heir of Hugh X of Lusignan. However, she refused to celebrate the formal wedding due to her fixed determination to remain a virgin. Later, she refused the hand of Conrad IV of Germany, although pressed to accept by everyone, including Pope Innocent IV.
In 1256, she founded the nunnery of Longchamp in part of the Forest of Rouvray.
Longchamp Abbey was suppressed in the French Revolution. In 1794 the empty building was offered for sale, but no one wished to purchase it and it was destroyed. In 1857 the remaining walls were pulled down, except for one tower, and the land was incorporated into the Boise de Boulogne, which has become Paris’s second largest park and the scene of many sports and cultural events.
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