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Visite Guidee de la Cite des Sires de Coucy

Coucy-le-Chateau-Auffrique, France

Visite Guidee de la Cite des Sires de Coucy
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Iweinvanaalst wrote a review May 2014
Lille, Belgium549 contributions336 helpful votes
The walls enclosing the medieval town of Coucy were constructed by Enguerrand III between 1225 and 1240. Their circuit is composed of eleven towers and three gates and links up with the enclosure of the lower court of the castle proper. Francis I (1520-1530) and Henry II (1552) adapted the town defenses to the use of fire arms. Towers were lowered and crenellations demolished. Gun batteries were established and canon holes pierced. Finally, the outer works of the main gate were modified. On march 18, 1917 the retreating german army damaged two of the city gates in order to block the road. The third gate was left intact because the track no longer ran through it. To this day the town enclosure has survived unbroken in a various state of conservation and accessibility. A path leading around its exterior has a few information panels. The castle guidebook contains a section dedicated to the walls. Visitors with a genuine interest in medieval fortifications are however strongly recommended to book a guided tour at the tourist office. The tour lasts about two hours and prices are very reasonable, even for individuals. The tour kicks off at the small museum, located inside the Soissons Gate. Here visitors can admire a scale model of the town and get familiar with the history and layout of the defenses. Next up a small section of the walls is scaled, the bulk being inaccessible. A final stop is made in front of the monumental Laon Gate. The young lady guiding us proved highly motivated and knowledgeable. She allowed ample time to take pictures and answered all questions with enthusiasm. Her passion for the subject was contaminating.
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Date of experience: April 2014