Thursday 26 September 2013

More of Champigny-sur-Veude

Just a few more photos of the stained glass portraying scenes from Louis IX's life.
Louis IX departing from Aigues Mortes
Louis IX sailed from Aigues Mortes in the Camargue on both of his crusading adventures. He obtained the property from a local abbey and developed it so that France could have its own seaport on the Mediterranean. At the time Marseille belonged to his brother, Charles of Anjou, King of Naples. He also wanted to dispense with the Italian navy as the 'transport of choice' for crusaders.
Mediaeval port of Aigues Mortes           [photo: Wikimedia]
The walls at Aigues Mortes          [photo:Wikimedia]
Aigues Mortes is still amazingly well preserved and we found it fascinating when we visited it about 15 yrs ago.There's a statue of Saint Louis in the square.

 Detail: Crusaders and a monk onboard boats [known as cogs]
In one of the windows there's a depiction of the Sainte Chapelle in Paris as a direct reference to the original building which Louis had had built and on which the chapel at Champigny is modelled.
Louis processing with the Sainte Chapelle in the background on the right 

Louis had some early success on the 7th Crusade in 1248 when he took the port of Damietta. The glaziers have shown it as a traditional mediaeval walled town with lots of little spurts of red flames to denote the sacking.
Louis' army is on the right

Defeat at Mansourah
Soon after however, Louis was soundly defeated at Mansourah and taken captive. He was ransomed after four years. Later in 1270 he went on crusade for the second time intending to attack Tunis, but died soon after landing at Carthage.


the fly in the web said...

I liked Aigues Mortes too...I wonder if it has been tarted up since....

These are super windows, aren't they!

GaynorB said...

The stained glass is stunning and your commentary gives the story behind the glass.

chm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chm said...

Aigues Mortes is no longer a port because of heavy siltation.

It is very well preserved and something not to miss if you're in the area. I enjoyed walking around on the top of the walls!
It was many moons ago!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@fly - don't know.
At the time we visited 15 -20 yrs ago it wasn't profiled that highly. We knew of its importance in the 13th & 14th centuries so we made the effort.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@chm - True although Canal du Rhône à Sète still links it to the Med and allows smaller craft access so there are marinas.
In fact after 1481 when Provence [and the port of Marseille] became part of France Aigues Morteslost its key role.

We did that too--walked the walls. As I recall it was extremely hot the day we went!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Gaynor - the colours really are beautifully vivid.
The windows do have a brief contemporaneous description etched at the bottom of the panels so you can have fun reading the 16th French :-)

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Gaynor - .... though we checked in Jean de Joinville's 'Life of Saint Louis' [mediaeval French chronicler]. Niall has a modern English copy of it. He had to read it as an undergraduate.

Perpetua said...

What gorgeous glass - beautiful AND interesting. Thank for the photos of Aigues Mortes which I visited as a 16 year-old on a school trip to Provence in 1962, my first time abroad.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Perpetua - what a great place to go on a school trip!