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Chateaux, Fortifications and Bridges

of France

Over the years I have visited several chateaux in France, including the well known ones along the Loire, but also some lesser known examples from the Renaissance including Tanlay begun in 1555 but completed only in 1649 to designs by Pierre le Muet,  and Ancy le Franc designed by Sebastiano Serlio and completed in 1550.  I have always been interested in bridges, and the first one I came to know well in France was the little bridge at Entrecasteaux, a relic of the middle ages rebuilt after a flood in the mid 18th century. A more impressive crossing may be made at Cahors on the Valentre Bridge, built in the 1300s, restored in the 1870s.  Every little boy likes castles, and I was no exception, so when a little later in life I encountered some real castles in France I had to stop to photograph them, including the Fortress of St. Andre across the river from Avignon, and the Chateau Fort of King Rene down river at Tarascon was completed in 1449. The fortified port of Aigues Mortes was built by Louis IX in as a point of embarkation for the 7th crusade in 1248 and followed the model of the Roman Castra, or fortified military camps. In some ways it served as a model for later urban planning after the plague.The images below are in no particular order.

Sites include:

Aigue Mortes, Avignon St. Benezet Bridge, Cahors Valentre Bridge, Chateau de Ancy le Franc, Chateau de Anger, Chateau de Azay le Rideau, Chateau de Blois, Chateau de Chambord, Chateau de Cenonceau, Chateau de Tanlay, Cotignac Tower, Entrecasteaux Bridge, La Rochelle towers, Villeneuve les Avignon Fortress de St. Andre.


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