The 25th of August 1246 marked the start of the 7th crusade. Aigues-Mortes saw Saint Louis set sail for Cyprus at the head of an armada of 1,500 vessels carrying 35,000 men. Saint Louis also sailed from Aigues-Mortes for the 8th crusade, this time heading for Tunis, where he died from the plague, having caught it whilst caring for his crusaders.
Aigues-Mortes is laid out in regimented style within a rectangle: five longitudinal roads are intersected by five transversal roads. The town is totally encircled by a wall-walk. The ramparts feature ten fortified gateways and twenty towers, all equipped with defence systems. Two doors stand on the northern ramparts: the Porte de la Gardette, which is the main gateway into town, and Porte Saint-Antoine.
Five gateways along the southern ramparts lead to the quayside: Porte de l’Organeau, where vessels would anchor to an iron anchor ring; Porte des Moulins, where grain destined for the garrison was milled; the Poterne des Galions, where galleys would moor; Porte de la Marine, the gateway used for ceremonies; and Porte de l’Arsenal.
La tour de Constance
Tour Constance is one of the most majestic examples of medieval dungeon architecture. It became sadly famous as the prison of Protestants from Cévennes. Marie Durand, whom Protestants are proud to include among the defenders of their faith, was kept there for 38 years, relentlessly supporting her companions. The tower was used as a prison from 1307, with the Knights Templar, right up until 1768.
The outstandingly homogenous fortified walls of Aigues-Mortes have survived intact. They now constitute one of the finest examples of 13th-century military architecture. Every year, on the feast of Saint Louis, Aigues-Mortes travels back in time to the Middle Ages and stages a huge medieval festival in honour of its founding father.
A mini DVD and a postcard
This new concept comprises an envelope, a mini-DVD and a postcard for sending a personal message. Simply stick a stamp on the envelope at the normal letter rate, then pop it in a post box. The mini-DVD can be viewed on any DVD player, gaming device, PC or MAC. The postcard measures 10.5cm x 15cm.
Soundtrack: Groupe OC
Available versions: French, English, Italian, German, Spanish, Occitan
Length : 13 minutes
Format: 16/9 SD PAL