/ / Tower, Charlemagne: photos, description, Tour Charlemagne)

Tower, Charlemagne: photos, description, Tour Charlemagne)

Tower of Charlemagne is located in the old French town Tour, the modern administrative centre of the Indre and Loire. She, like the nearby Clock tower is the only surviving part of the medieval Romanesque Abbey of St. Martin of tours.

Already in the year 471 in town had a Basilica on the burial place of this Saint is the patron Saint of France. Subsequently it has grown in size and up to the mid-ninth century was the largest religious building in all of Europe.

The tower is named in honor of the Emperor Charlemagne, because, according to legend, in this place was buried last wife of the king of the Franks, who died at tours in 800. The tower itself was built in the XI century and was part of a defensive walls surrounding the third building of the Basilica - the first was burned by the Vikings in the year 853, and the second burned in the fire of 997 years.

The original building was a typical of Romanesque architecture is a powerful, two-storey building with a vaulted roof. In the XIV century the tower was added a Gothic outbuilding, and one hundred years later, was a graceful bell tower, also made in the Gothic style. In the XVII century, the tower of Charlemagne was crowned with a spire, whose height reached 56 meters.

Basilica of St. Martin was badly damaged during the Huguenot wars in the XVI century, during the French revolution it was completely destroyed. Tower, Charlemagne was also waiting for the hard times: in 1813, on the first floor, where ammunition was stored, a fire broke out, and from the middle of the XIX it was used as a reservoir of clean water.

In 1927, in a Round of earthquake, and a year later the tower partially collapsed. This was the impetus for the creation of a society in support of the monument. Later managed to convince the city administration of the necessity of the restoration of this building, which, however, had to be postponed due to the outbreak of the Second world war. And only in 1972, all the work to restore the tower of Charlemagne was completed.

At the moment, for tourist visits are open the first and second floors of the tower. It is believed that the lower floor is the burial Luitgard, the last wife of Charlemagne. Climb to the top floor via the old stairs. Also in the tower are preserved frescoes of the XII century, which are still under restoration in the Museum of St. Martin of tours.