|Image from "Vauban and the French Military Under Louis XIV"|
by Jean-Denis G.G. Lepage".
Metz had a long medieval wall, about 7 kilometres with around 60 towers. Many of the towers were built and maintained by the Guilds (you know - butchers, bakers, candlestick makers). Only part of this remains, from the Moselle to the Porte des Allemands, behind Fort Bellecroix.
As I walked around the walls, one tower in particular caught my attention, the Tour des Esprits.
|Tour des Esprits|
|Damaged during the 1944 battle to liberate Metz, later restored|
|Lovely vaulted ceiling|
On close inspection, it seems to me that the roundels to allow cannon fire were installed at a later date.
A musketry wall was added during the 1830's, all around the wall. This would have provided protection against small arms fire but probably have been easy meat for siege artillery.
|Musketry wall in front, medieval wall behind.|
(Picture pinched from internet - thanks to the poster)
From the Porte des Allemands, I crossed the river and entered Fort Bellecroix.
|The notice board for the Circuit of the Ramparts, in need of some repair.|
"Bellecroix Fort. The military past of Bellecroix.
It was under Louis XV that Cormontaigne, successor to Vauban, built to a large extent the double crown of Fort Bellecroix, under the direction of the Military Governor Marechal de Belle-Isle, between 1734 and 1740.
The works, comprising of four bastions, three curtain walls, three demi-lunes and a lunette, was protected by 3kms of dry ditch and 4.6kms of underground galleries.
Under Napoleon III and to the end of the 19th century, these fortifications were reinforced."
The double-crownwork is largely intact but under much tree growth. The main ditch between the line of the bastions and curtain walls and the line of the demi-lunes is used for playgrounds and basketball courts.
|Bastion on the right, basketball court.|
|Demi-lune, under the shrubbery.|
|Porte de Sarrelouis|
|Pas de souris.|
|From a bastion shoulder towards the Porte de Sarrelouis.|