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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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July 20 2010 3 20 /07 /July /2010 08:46

185b Château fort de PirouPirou’s fortified castle is in fact a motte castrale (or castle mound) erected on an island and surrounded by ramparts preventing any possible extension.  The castle’s architecture is similar to Crusader architecture with alternating turrets and guerites.  Construction dates from the 11th to 14th century.  The current moat was surrounded by two further moats which no longer exist.  185c Château fort de Pirou186 Château fort de Pirou187b Château fort de PirouIn order to enter the castle, five defensive gates need to be crossed.  After being received at the fourth gate, visitors walked a relatively long walk around the castle and through the fifth gate before reaching the basse-cour, or lower courtyard.  170 Château fort de Pirou171 Portes défensives, Château fort de Pirou176 Cinquème porte, Château fort de Pirou176c Reception, Château fort de PirouThe lower courtyard is bordered to the left by the outbuildings.  These include the bakery dating back to the late 18th century, the cider press building, then Saint Laurent’s chapel, followed by a vast hall referred to as the salle des plaids and finally, on the way back, the wagon shed and the domestic servants’ living quarters.  180c Bakery, Château fort de Pirou183 Bakery, Château fort de Pirou184a Cider Press, Château fort de PirouThe chapel was rebuilt in 1649 by Louise du Bois, the Marchioness of Pirou, shortly after the death of her husband Charles du Bois.  188b Chapelle St-Laurent, Château fort de Pirou191 Chapelle St-Laurent, Château fort de Pirou188c Salle des Plaids, Château fort de PirouInside, the chapel is furnished with various statues in terracotta and polychrome wood.  Behind the 15th century altar is a painting of the Last Supper from the Italian school dating from the late 16th century.  On either side are the statues of Saint John the Baptist and Saint Laurent (both from the 15th century).  Adjacent to the chapel is the salle des plaids which was originally the justice room within which Pirou’s lords dealt with disputes and received taxes.  The room was transformed into a stable in the 17th century and later into a cowshed.  Today the room has been totally restored and now houses the Pirou tapestry.  Access to the castle is via a two-arched stone bridge crossing the narrowest stretch of the moat.  213a Old Lodge, Château fort de Pirou213 Old Lodge, Château fort de Pirou197 New Lodge, Château fort de Pirou198 Square Tower, Château fort de Pirou205 Turret, Château fort de Pirou220 Château fort de PirouVisitors then arrive in the castle’s interior courtyard, where they can distinguish two remaining and distinct lodges, built against the castle walls.  One of them, the old lodge, to the east was built under Henry IV.  The second building, the new lodge to the south, was built in 1708.  There are exceptional views of Pirou’s dunes near the sea from the wall-walk accessed by climbing a flight of stairs against the eastern wall.204 Turret, Château fort de Pirou  202a Ramparts, Château fort de PirouThe wall-walk also provides visitors better views of the lower courtyard and its outbuildings.202b Ramparts, Château fort de Pirou 

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Published by The Baguette - in Basse-Normandie