High on a bluff, overlooking both river and town, sits Fort St. Andre.
And ‘high’ is not poetic license. If we were going to get up there to see it, we needed to think like mountain goats. The steep cobbled street leading to the base of the fort is called the Rue Pente Rapide. With its 45-degree slope, the only way it’s rapide is going down.
Inside the gates, our climb continued. Once, there was a town and an abbey within these walls. Now, most are shells.
Olive trees grow in the village burying-ground.
Inside the well-preserved walls of the 12th-century church, the faint ghost of its once-bright colors persists.
The fortifications, built in the 13th century, are in amazing shape. This continued to be a military garrison long after the townspeople left. Some guidebooks call it the best example of a medieval fort still standing.
From atop its walls, this ruined church, open to the heavens, catches the eye. War damage, perhaps?
Turns out, the nave and steeple simply fell down.
400 years ago…
Our next target was also clear from this vantage:
Tour (Tower) Phillipe le Bel.
But first, a rest for the hooves. Even goats can’t do it all in one day.