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  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.
  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.

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September 22 2009 3 22 /09 /September /2009 05:59
Saturday and Sunday were European Heritage DaysIn France, these days are called Journées du patrimoine.  Many places of historical importance that are usually closed to the public opened their doors.  Other places, which normally charge a fee, reduced prices or allowed visitors free entry.  I went to the Fort de Querqueville and the Château de Gonneville.  Today’s post is about the Querqueville Fort.

Students from l'école des fourriers of the Marine National were on hand to guide visitors.  These two were Melanie (Navy) and Julien (Air Force). 


Southern defensive walls surrounded by a moat of seawater.

 



This is the main gate to the fort.  After entering, I was saddened by the way this place of immense cultural value could be brought to such decline.  Windows were cemented over, outbuildings were in great need of repairs, and rows of empty barracks were closed to the public because of the danger they posed architecturally.





In 1786 after a visit from Louis XVI, the construction of Fort Querqueville was ordered to better protect Cherbourg harbor.  The foundations were sunk the year following the king’s visit but construction had to be halted once it was realized that its position from the eastern fort on l'ile Pelée was too far away to be adequate for defense of the harbor.   

The work on the hemicycle however, continued in order to maintain a potential defense and shooting position even if it was rendered inaccurate by distance from l'ile Pelée.  The work ended in 1795.  It wasn’t until 1852 that the fort was fully equipped with housing for officers, barracks, bunkers and guns.

During World War II, the Germans occupied the fort and built gun-turrets on the facilities as well as building concrete blockhouses along the shore in nearby Urville-Nacqueville and Landemer.

The main caserne or barracks (which could house up to 600 men) opens onto a central courtyard surrounded by the 36 arches (pillboxes) of the hemicycle where cannons weighing up to 5,200 kg could be mounted. 

 


The curious symbols carved into the granite throughout the fort are markings made by stonecutters from the quarries.



 

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Published by The Baguette - in Cultural Heritage