June 20, 2013

0689 FRANCE (Occitania) - Mont-Louis - part of Fortifications of Vauban (UNESCO WHS)

After the movement of the frontier between France and Spain as a result of the Treaty of the Pyrenees (1659), the Spaniards fortified the town of Puigcerdà to protect Cerdanya. When war broke out again, Spanish troops undertook raids across the frontier from their new fortess, so that king Louis XIV sent Vauban to the area in 1679 to ensure the frontier. The location he chose for the new fortress was just outside Cerdanya itself, at the head of the Aude and Tet valleys and guarding the routes to Toulouse and Perpignan.

Vauban's plan was for a fortress in three sections, called Mont Louis, after Louis XIV. At the highest point there was to be a square citadel with four bastions. Below this there was an area of houses (the upper town), enclosed by three bastions, and below this another area protected by a further three bastions (the lower town). For reasons of cost, the plans were reduced to the construction of only the citadel and the upper town. The fortifications were complete by the end of 1682, but didn't attract inhabitants in the way that Vauban had hoped. The citadel is even today the property of the French army (a commando unit is stationed here).

Mont-Louis is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Fortifications of Vauban, about which I wrote here.

About the stamps
The both stamps, depicting bouchon Lyonnais, and porcelain of Sèvres, are part of the series Portraits de régions (Portrait of Regions) issued on 2007, about which I wrote here.

Mont Louis - Fortified Places 

Sender: Fabienne (direct swap)
Sent from (France), on 14.11.2012

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