The Siege of Orleans and Joan of Arc

In the tumultuous period of the Hundred Years’ War between France and England, one event stands out as a turning point – the lifting of the siege of Orleans by Joan of Arc on April 29, 1429. This historic event not only changed the course of the war but also solidified Joan’s status as a heroine of France.

The Context of the Hundred Years’ War

The Hundred Years’ War was a long and brutal conflict between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of France, lasting from 1337 to 1453. It was characterized by a series of battles, sieges, and territorial disputes, with both sides vying for control over various regions in France.

By the year 1429, the English had already gained significant ground in France, including the city of Orleans. The city’s strategic location on the Loire River made it a crucial stronghold for both sides. The English, led by the Duke of Bedford, had laid siege to Orleans in an attempt to further their control over the region.

Joan of Arc: A Divine Leader

It was in this dire situation that Joan of Arc emerged as a beacon of hope for the French. Born in 1412 in Domrémy, a small village in northeastern France, Joan claimed to have received divine visions and voices instructing her to support the Dauphin, Charles VII, in his quest to be crowned king.

Joan’s unwavering faith and conviction convinced Charles VII to grant her an audience. Impressed by her fervor and determination, he granted her permission to join the French forces at Orleans. Joan arrived at the besieged city in late April 1429, ready to lead the troops.

The Lift of the Siege

Under Joan’s leadership, the French forces launched a series of successful attacks on the English positions surrounding Orleans. Her strategic brilliance and ability to inspire the troops played a crucial role in the eventual lifting of the siege.

One of the most significant battles during the siege was the assault on the English fortification known as Les Tourelles. Joan personally led the charge, carrying her banner and rallying the troops. Despite being wounded by an arrow, she continued to inspire her comrades, leading them to victory.

The lifting of the siege of Orleans was a momentous achievement for the French. It not only boosted their morale but also marked a turning point in the war. The English, who had previously seemed invincible, were now facing a formidable opponent in the form of Joan of Arc.

The Legacy of Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc’s triumph at Orleans elevated her into a symbol of French unity and resistance. Her unwavering faith and divine guidance inspired not only the troops but also the entire nation. She became a figurehead for the French cause and played a crucial role in rallying support for Charles VII.

Following the lifting of the siege, Joan continued to fight alongside the French forces in other battles. However, her journey was not without its challenges. She was eventually captured by the English and accused of heresy. In 1431, she was burned at the stake in Rouen.

Despite her tragic end, Joan of Arc’s legacy endured. Centuries later, she was canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church. Her bravery, leadership, and unwavering faith continue to inspire people around the world.


The lifting of the siege of Orleans by Joan of Arc on April 29, 1429, marked a significant turning point in the Hundred Years’ War. Joan’s leadership, strategic prowess, and divine guidance inspired the French forces to achieve victory over the English. Her actions not only altered the course of the war but also solidified her status as a heroine of France. Joan of Arc’s legacy as a symbol of French unity and resistance continues to inspire generations.

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