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Saturday, 18 May 2013

Fortress Visit Report No 6 - St Martin de Ré

Back from Ile de Ré and La Rochelle, feeling a proper lemon. I took our Canon camera and the battery charger lead but not the battery charger, so I don't have many photographs. I bought a few postcards.

The town is quite small. The enceinte is very well maintained. The citadel at top right and the caserne just below it, these form a prison complex and so are not accessible.

There are two principal town portes, des Campani and de Toiras. Throughout France, portes like these were built with royal insignia such as a sunburst to represent the Sun King, Louis XIV. During the turbulence of the French Revolution, these emblems of the monarchy were attacked and removed. Porte de Campani still has its sunburst.
Porte des Campani, quite well kept, maybe in need of a little restoration.

Steps from a ravelin, into the ditch and through a caponier to a sally port, thence up to the talus.

A photograph of the citadel, from the plan relief of St Martin, Musée des Plans Relief.

Another from Musée des Plans Relief, of Porte des Campani.

The site was designed by Vauban in 1681 and completed by 1685. It is not a complex design, having four bastions, two demi-bastions and interval ravelins. The two bastions closest to the portes have been pierced to allow modern traffic into the town, excluding this, the walls are in very good condition, accessible, walkable in an afternoon, I am very pleased I went.

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