un château fort

January 13, 2012

Fort de Salses  –  half buried now within the surrounding landscape of vines –  comes as a surprise. It’s also hidden from view from the fast A 9 and from the town of Salses-le-Château. The town’s not great – provincial in the French manner – sorry France!

An example of power and strong military architecture of 15C. The building lost its importance when the boundary with Spainwas redrawn.

From medieval  – keep and round towers and long curtain walls  – to the modern restoration. Pink sandstone and brick – perfect combination

What in the midst lay but the Tower itself?
The round squat turret, blind as the fool’s heart,
Built of brown stone, without a counter-part
In the whole world. The tempest’s mocking elf
Points to the shipman thus the unseen shelf
He strikes on, only when the timbers start.

Not see? because of night perhaps?—why, day
Came back again for that! before it left,
The dying sunset kindled through a cleft:
The hills, like giants at a hunting, lay,
Chin upon hand, to see the game at bay,—
“Now stab and end the creature—to the heft!”

Not hear? when noise was everywhere! it tolled
Increasing like a bell. Names in my ears
Of all the lost adventurers my peers,—
How such a one was strong, and such was bold,
And such was fortunate, yet, each of old
Lost, lost! one moment knelled the woe of years.

There they stood, ranged along the hill-sides, met
To view the last of me, a living frame
For one more picture! in a sheet of flame
I saw them and I knew them all. And yet
Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set,
And blew. `  Robert Browning  `Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came.”

One Response to “un château fort”


  1. Wow, great pictures! I’d love to visit this place one day.


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