Provence is windy. During our trips to Provence, we saw a large number of wrought-iron bell towers. Produced in Provence since the 16th century, they are unique to the region. Once I saw my first one with The Luger on our trip to Avignon, I noticed them everywhere.
Their light and open framework allows the area’s strong winds, Le Mistral, to blow through them instead of blowing them over. Their sound carries for miles. They usually top the town hall or church, but can even top a rampart gate. Many of the towers have a strong Italian influence (which isn’t too surprising given Provence’s proximity to France and considering parts of the Côte d’Azur belonged to France at one time).
The bellowers date from different eras, but most were built in the 17th and 19th centuries. They were typically produced by local craftsmen. Each designed and crafted the tower in their own particular style. As a result, they vary dramatically in style. Cool huh?
- Don’t Miss A Stroll Through Avignon (schwingeninswitzerland.wordpress.com)
- Take It Eze-y, The Cote D’Azur Town Of Eze (schwingeninswitzerland.wordpress.com)
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Hi there! Love your collection of bell tower pictures. I’m an American student in Provence and have just noticed all the wrought-ironwork, too. Was wondering, where did you find out the interesting history? Thanks!
Great, thank you so much!
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I think the article was meant to say that Provence is close to Italy, rather than close to France.