Saint Lô: the Ramparts!!

And I am closing this new trip into my belle France with the ramparts of Saint Lô. Always heard about them ,and by the road warrior chance was able to see them. See my previous post on Saint Lô to get the whole story folks. This is in the dept 50 of Manche in the region of Normadie!

Saint Lô ramparts main gate aug20

The district of Saint-Lô, of the town of Saint Lô.. officially called the L’Enclos or enclosure, is still almost entirely surrounded by its fortified belt dating back to the Middle Ages, and which reconstruction has made it possible to clear and enhance. Natural schist promontory, cut by the valleys of Torteron, Dollée and Vire, the rock allows to control this strategic meeting point of several roads and a navigable river.

Saint Lô

Charlemagne, when he came to the region in the year 800, is credited with the first fortifications to protect the city from Norman invasions; there were done by 805.  A citadel was built in 1574 by Jacques II de Matignon, of which there remains the Beaux-Regards tower and the Poudrière tower. The Tour des Beaux-Regards tower dominates the steepest flank of the Rock. It offers from its summit a vast panorama of the Vire and its neighboring districts. The Tour de la Poudriére, the only remaining military vestige of the citadel, still shows the start of the very thick wall which closed the enclosure on the Neufbourg side.

Saint Lô

The wooden ramparts replaced by thick stone walls do not always protect the enclosure during many sieges and battles, especially in the 16C. This Enclos or enclosure is limited to the west by the rue de la Poterne, to the north by rue des Noyers, to the east by Place Général de Gaulle, to the south by rue Havin and rue Torteron. The Rue de la Poterne begins at the Rond-Point du 6 Juin, where the monument to the victims of the bombing of WWII rises along the rock and, in its current state, bypasses the entire west side and part of the north flank of the enclosure, to the crossroads with rue de Carentan, rue des Noyers and Porte-Dollée.

Saint Lô

The ramparts remain on three of the four sides of the L’Enclos (enclosure). The ramparts had three gates: the Porte-au-Lait to the south, the Porte Dollée to the north, and the Porte-au-Four to the east, before it was blocked by the fortress of Matignon.

Saint Lô

In 1811, Napoleon stopped at Saint-Lô, but his coach was too large and could not cross the Porte du Neufbourg flanked by its two towers. In 1812, the citadel was partially destroyed to develop the city outside its ramparts, little by little, the houses and their gardens concealed the base of the fortifications which had become unnecessary. On the south side, the disaster of 1944 had the paradoxical effect of clearing the base where houses had been before by rue du Torteron.

Saint Lô

The city of Saint Lô with the info on its heritage as the ramparts: City of Saint Lô on its heritage so the ramparts

The tourist office of Saint Lô on the ramparts: Tourist office of Saint Lô on the ramparts

And there you go folks as we say goodbye or au revoir to Saint Lô, an interesting town and very full of history that we will be back. The ramparts are very nice indeed and do give you great views of the city, something to repeat visit for us. Hope you enjoy the tour.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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2 Comments to “Saint Lô: the Ramparts!!”

  1. I am always amazed to see how over time these frightening works have become pleasant places to visit. It says something about the adaptability of humans.

    Liked by 1 person

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