Friday, June 16, 2017

30 years

For almost thirty years I've been saying, I should go to the Fortress de Salses which is close to Argelès-sur-mer every time I passed it, which was often. Today was the day. One word...


Built at the order or Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain and costing about 20% of their wealth, it is high tech for the 15th century. It took by 500 worker six and a half years. Contrast that with Boston's Big Dig to put an elevated bridge underground sixteen years with modern equipment and many more workers.

How was it high tech? Partially because architect Lopez worked with Arab experts to make the walls thicker and deeper than any other fortress of its time. Ventilation allowed for shooting of fire arrows without killing the archers. The ability to fire cannonballs thru out meant that the fort was protected on all sides.

There was an almost modern sewer system, about one toilet for every 15 men stationed. The waste was treated with charcoal before flushed out to sea.

Rain water was trapped by slanted walk ways. Combined with underground springs water for all needs including cleanliness was never an issue.

A dumb waiter brought food to the dining room (and storage area of food was enough to outlast a multi-week siege) and there was a sink to wash one's hand before dinner.

I marveled at the original doors of iron and wood.
The tour was mainly in English, but the guide would repeat things in German and Spanish for the couples whose English was weak.

Remind me not to wait 30 years to see other things that trip my interest.

1 comment:

Vallypee said...

What a fascinating piece of history and amazing that it is still so complete. Lovely post Donnalene!