ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Fortified Cities of France

Updated on March 31, 2012

I have always been a little obsessed with medieval history. The castles, the armor, everything. I thought that anyone who is traveling to France should make sure to put some of these places on their "to go " list and get a real feel for what life was like in the dark ages. This is not a list of castles but of fortified cities that have a wall built around them.

Aigues-Mortes

Aigues-Mortes was founded by king Louis IX of France in 1241. He wanted access to the Mediterranean Sea for trade and their involvement in the crusades. To avoid attacks from the sea Louis had the walls build around the port town. They never were attacked and the wall was useless because when they were completed the town expanded to 15,000 people, which is three times its size today.

Aigues-Mortes, France
Aigues-Mortes, France

Arles

Arles was first settled by the Greeks. During the Roman Empire days Arles became an important port and centre of culture. The city was truly a Medieval city facing many confrontations. The Muslim Saracen and Viking raiders frequently stopped by for a quick buck. Later on the Franks took over.

Arles, France
Arles, France

Avignon

The city walls of Avignon has seen lots of action. The Muslim Sarasen, Franks, Ostragoths, all fighting for control of that part of the Mediterranean sea. The city also was the headquarters of the Catholic church in the 14th century.

Avignon, France
Avignon, France

Boulogne-sur-Mer

Boulogne-sur-Mer was mostly used as a centre of invasion of Britain. It was first used by the Romans to invade Britain and later it was fought over during the Hundred Year War between the French and the English. It was also used by Napoleon to invade Britain but was unsuccessful.

Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
Boulogne-sur-Mer, France

Caen

The walls of Caen has experienced two major battles. The first time was in the 14th century when the English invaded the town killing most of its citizens. The fight over Normandy between the English and the French lasted 100 years. The second major battle was in 1944 when British and Canadian troops fought the Axis forces there. Caen was almost completely destroyed but was rebuilt.

Caen, France
Caen, France

Carcassonne

Carcassonne is on the UNESCO World Heritage list and probably the most recognized walled-city. It has seen many battles. The Visigoths took over the fortress from the Roman Empire in 462. Muslim Saracenes held Carcassonne for a time in 725 but lost it in 759. The city held out control of the Franks for a time but finally gave it up in 1067 through a marriage arrangement. During the Hundred Year War the English Black Prince was unable to take control of the town but instead decided to plummet the towns around it.

Carcassonne, France
Carcassonne, France

Dinan

Built by John V, Duke of Brittany in 1384, Dinan has everything a castle should have. A wall, towers, a moat, and a drawbridge. The fortified-city however, didn't see any significant battles.

Dinan, France
Dinan, France

La Couvertoirade

The small fortified-city of La Couvertoirade was established by the Knights Templar in the 12th century. It served as one of their bases until their dissolution in 1312 after which it was handed over to the St. John of Jerusalem society who build the wall around the town in 1450.

La Couvertoirade, France
La Couvertoirade, France

La Rochelle

La Rochelle was an important port city that gave access to the Atlantic Ocean. It was the site of the decisive battle that took place there in june 22, 1372 during the Hundred Years War, giving France an edge over the English. The protective walls made La Rochelle a safe haven for the Huguenots, a protestant group who were avoiding persecution during the French Wars of Religion (1572-1573). After its fall the Huguenots moved to North America to begin anew. During WWII the port was used as a German submarine base. It was the last city to fall when the Allied forces came to France.

La Rochelle, France
La Rochelle, France

Langres

Not much to say except that the city was fortified by the bishops because of civil unrest during the 14th and 15 centuries. The fortified city walls remain and they are a highlight to visitors.

Langres, France
Langres, France

Perouges

The fortified walls of Perouges gave the city autonomy from royal kingship. The city officially became apart of France in 1601.

Perouges, France
Perouges, France

Saint-Malo

The city of Saint-Malo is located on a small island in the Atlantic Ocean. Established first as a monastery the city needed to be fortified against invaders or pirates. The city soon became an independent republic and execised full autonomy. Because of this it made for the perfect location and safe haven for looting pirates.

Saint-Malo, France
Saint-Malo, France
working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)