Monday, April 13, 2009

Fougères, France - June 5, 2008

Without much of a plan, we arrived in Fougères and latched onto the first parking opportunity we came across. It turned out to be on the opposite side of town to where the "goodies" are, but it was hassle free and secure. Fougères is probably best known for its medieval Chateau de Fougères, with its 13 towers all poised on a granite outcrop in the center of the original old town. Built between the 12th and 15th centuries as an outpost of medieval Brittany, it remains one of the best preserved fortifications in Europe. Its defenses were continually refined over a period of four centuries, making the castle a treasure trove of military history. Located, as it is, at the gates of Brittany, Fougères remained a strategic military possession during the middle ages, over which the English and French fought up to 1488.
In the 19th century, the town evolved into a shoe manufacturing mecca and, by the end of that century, had more than sixty factories churning out shoes for women. This industry has since all but vanished with just a few factories producing high-line footwear. Click here for more pictures.

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