Friday, 11 November 2011

Avallon - Walls & Towers / Remparts & Bastions

Lillian :  Avallon is a hilltop town with ancient walls & watchtowers & gates - "perhaps 50% of the town's original circle of fortifications are still intact."

A Promenade in Avallon
Audrey : Gates and Tour Gauchard - 1438 ... on the other side of that tour (or tower) is a wonderful Promenade.  So we did - promenade that is.
Lillian :   And over on the other side of those gates - Remparts and the Bastion de la Petite Porte ...

Audrey : When we returned  - this lovely old car was parked there.

Now isn't that just about perfect!

Lillian : It is a Citroen - probably a 1950 Citroen Traction 11BL.  You simply have to love a car with curves!

And of course, that's the Tour Gauchard again.

Audrey : And again - with you wearing your brand new LBD Lillian.

Lillian :  Oh - that's my Paris dress.  Très chic?   But let's have another look at Tower Gauchard - built in 1438.

Audrey : 1438 is such a long long time ago but I rather fancy that Rapunzel lived in a tower just like this one.


Lillian :  Let's see some more towers ...

I'm not sure but I think the tower on the left is called Tour du Chapitre - the one on the right is the Tour de l'Escharguet  (Cowherd's Tower) and yes, it was used to lodge the town's cowherd.  In 1522 the town surgeon, brought in to look after plague victims, was lodged there.
Audrey :  Oh - they locked the doctor in the tower so he couldn't run away?
Lillian :  Perhaps.  Of course our people had visited Avallon before - in December 2007 and they kept saying how different the light was, how all the colours were different ...  We were there in the spring-time and their previous visit was in winter.
Spring-time and the Tour de l'Escharguet
Tour de l'Escharguet in the winter light - Dec 2007

Audrey : Hmm that looks rather cold.  I'm glad we went in the Spring, when the weather was warmer.
Lillian : Spring-time means flowers;  there are lots of plants growing in and on the Remparts (ramparts or walls) many of them were in flower...

Lillian :  The yellow flowers are Wallflowers

Audrey :  Yes Lillian - they are growing on the walls ...   

Lillian :  Which could be why they are known as Wallflowers - possibly Cheiranthus cheiri.  The French call these flowers giroflée or revenell.
Here are some ferns, mosss, lichen, succulents ... all growing in the walls

Audrey : Even the rocks were pretty - lots of salmon and coral pinks.
Lillian :   That's the local granite - Avallon is on top of a granite hill.

Audrey :  All those Remparts must take a lot of maintenance  ...

but we had a giggle at the Warning Sign underneath

Lillian :  D'eboulement does sound (to an English speaker) like a nasty form of torture - it translates to 'land-slip'.

Now let's look at the Bastions because they are all slightly different,

This one is known as Eperon Gally - built in 1591.

Bastion de la porte auxerroise (1590-91)
Bastion de Baudelaine 1404 - 1590  Église St Lazare in the background

Audrey : And finally another pair of photos to show the contrast between the seasons.  These were both taken in the lane-way behind the Bastion de la Petite Porte.  Laneway, rempart, bastion and a little building with a gambrel roof.

Spring 2011
Winter 2007

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