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(Provins - Seine et Marne - Ile de France)


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The ramparts

Just remember that the "Ville-haute" is the oldest district of Provins. It is located on a rocky outcrop naturally protected in North, the East and the South by the valleys Durteint and Voulzie rivers, that it overhangs.

Only the Western access, side of the Plain of Brie, has required an artificial system of protection against possible enemy. Originally, this village was also a military camp had to be protected by a wall of wood piles. But we have no archaeological proof. After, with the increase in the population, the line of the walls were pushed towards the West until the actual ramparts. The "Ville-haute" fortifications of Provins constitute a remarkable medieval military architecture of the 12th and 13th centuries.



The two doors of Saint-Jean and of Jouy, giving access to the city, had an identical protection system out of hopper.
A whole of grooves and hinges remaining follow one another and indicate that harrows and heavy doors followed one another after the lowering of the lifting bridge (the drawbridge appeared only with the 14th century), protecting a door "charretière" and a pedestrian door. Each one of these two doors was capped of a higher part, used as a look-out but destroyed during followed centuries.

These two doors have an equipment external of stones in embossing.

They are linked by an fortified enclosing wall made up of curtains and many towers of defence with different forms: hemi-cylindrical, square, polygonal, out of spurs... alternately. Practically each one of these towers has its proper name and many are those which hide beautiful arched rooms of edges or pointed arches

Porte de Jouy

Porte Saint Jean

The curtains and the towers are reinforced by:

a powerful glacis at their base, allowing to hold the attackers with good distance for a better monitoring and in particular to increase the difficulties of the sap and climbing using the war machines of the time;
a great number of loop-holes learnedly laid out to avoid the dead angles and facilitate the shooting with the arc in all directions;
a parapet-walk crenelated passing from towers to curtains, allowing best watches with the shelter of the projectiles;
an imposing ditch still remaining dry in Provins.

This defence system was connected by "small walls", less massive ramparts, to the keep "grosse tour ", Tour César today, which was the centre of command.

Link to "the old postcards of the Tour Cesar"
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Dernière modification : 09 August 2007