Aigues-Mortes


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Aigues-Mortes is a medieval fortified city in the Camargue, in the south of France.

The creation of the city of Aigues-Mortes is attributed to Marius Caius, around 102 BC. According to Pagezy, it was not until the Xth century that a document was discovered, showing a region called Ayga Mortas.

In 1240, Louis IX must leave on a crusade with the others sovereigns of Europe to take over Jerusalem. Not possessing a port open to the Mediterranean, the King decided that Aquae Mortuae (Dead Water) be the point of departure for his expedition.

To the east, the port of Marseille belonged to the emporer Germain and to the west, the barony of Montpellier was ruled by the king of Aragon. Aigues-Mortes is nevertheless not a port since it is located on the shores of an immense lagoon that only communicates with the sea by estuaries. The ships travelled by a canal that was dug through ponds to the sea. It was the embarkation point of the Seventh Crusade (1248) and the Eighth Crusade (1270).

The city became an important economic area for trade with eastern countries. It was also at this time that Saint-Louis built the Tower of Constance on the ruins of the Matafère Tower (built by Charlemagne) to protect the coast, the port, and the city.The History of Aigues-Mortes

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The bridge leading from the Constance Tower to the Place du Château.

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La Porte de la Marine

La Porte de la Marine

Door entrance along the fortification wall to Rue Louis Blanc

Door entrance along the fortification wall to Rue Louis Blanc

Entrance leading to the Rue Victor Hugo

Entrance leading to the Rue Victor Hugo

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La Porte de la Gardette

La Porte de la Gardette

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The Constance Tower

The Constance Tower

From 1575 to 1622, Aigues-Mortes was one of the eight safe havens granted to the Protestants. The revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 caused severe repression of Protestantism, which was marked in Languedoc and the Cévennes in the early 18th century by the “Camisard War”. Like other towers in the town, from 1686 onwards the Constance Tower was used as a prison for the Huguenots who refused to convert to Roman Catholicism. — Wikipedia

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The salt evaporation ponds just outside the fortified city of Aigues-Mortes

The salt evaporation ponds just outside the fortified city of Aigues-Mortes

In 1893 a conflict between the French and the Italians who worked in the salt evaporation ponds of Peccais erupted, killing nine and injuring hundreds on the Italian side (Enzo Barnabà, Le Sang des Marais, Marseille, 1993). — Wikipedia