The Belfry of Amiens!

Here I am again ,searching my vaults for nostalgic trips with the family that are still not in my blog; which is a way of my life’s history. I found another beauty that needs to be told. This time is the Belfry of  Amiens or Beffroi (fr) a symbol of the city we have come to visit several times over the years. Therefore, let me bring this in my blog, tell you about it a bit, and hope you enjoy it as I.

For geographical reference, Amiens is in dept 80 of the Somme, part of the region of Hauts de France ; historical capital of Picardie in my belle France. It is about 115 km from Paris and about 558 km from my house now.

The Belfry is located at Place au Fil, in the city center of Amiens. Its origin dates back to the establishment of the town of Amiens under King Louis VI the Fat. It is mentioned for the first time in an arbitration award rendered by the chapter of Amiens in 1244.  The town of Amiens was born in 1113, it was recognized by Bishop Geoffroy and King Louis VI. On the other hand, the count of Amiens Enguerrand de Boves and his son Thomas de Marle refused to recognize the town. The opponents of the town are entrenched in Castillon, a fortress inherited from Roman times. Louis VI came in person, in 1115 to give the go on the assault, without success. Wounded, he retired and the siege of the fortress lasted two years. In 1117, the Castillon fell and was destroyed by order of the king. When it was placed, the bourgeois had the belfry built.

amiens beffroi apr10

The belfry was rebuilt at the beginning of the 15C, symbolizing the independence of the town, it was then used for meetings of the town’s notables, then as an archive room, as a weapons store and as a prison. A lookout keeps an eye on the arrivals and warns the population of external dangers. The belfry is also used to inform the privileged companies of the imminence of a disaster.

On April 16, 1742, the belfry was again engulfed in flames. Repair of the belfry did not begin until 1749. It gave the belfry the appearance we know today. The large “Marie-Firmine” bell was melted on August 2, 1748, in the gardens of the bishopric. It has a diameter of 2.43 meters and a height of 2.06 meters, it weighed 11 tons with a leaf of 315 kg, This belfry consists of a base in white ashlar, built in the 15C between 1406 and 1410 surmounted by a stone bell tower built from 1749 with baroque-style volutes at its base, and a covered dome. slate then an arrow and a weather vane bearing a reputation. The height of the belfry is 52 meters.

The Amiens belfry has a very massive rectangular base 17 meters high and ends in a terrace bordered by a stone balustrade. The base was surmounted by a pyramidal spire until the middle of the 18C. At the top sits a weather vane, “La Renommée”, an allegory representing an angel watching the surroundings. One can also notice, on the south face of the building, a sundial. In the basement are dungeons dug to a depth of 4.50 meters, in which graffiti of prisoners still remains.

The City of Amiens on the belfry

The Amiens tourist office on the belfry:

The Somme dept 80 tourist office on the belfry of Amiens

There you folks, a dandy monument in nice Amiens. The Belfry is a nice sight to see and surrounded by wonderful shops/restos in town, worth a detour. Another architecturally/historically stunning monument of my belle France; hope you enjoy it as I.

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

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