The fortified city of Aigues-Mortes was built in the 13th century on the order of Saint Louis to provide the kingdom of France with a port on the Mediterranean.
The complex consists of over a mile of ramparts flanked by
20 towers and one of the most splendid keeps in the architectural style of the
Middle Ages, the Tower of Constance, which was used as a prison for Protestants
from the Cévennes region from 1685.
The Tower of Constance was built in 1242 by Saint-Louis on the former site of the Matafère Tower which was built by Charlemagne around 790 to house the king’s garrison. The construction was completed in 1254.
All images © Centre des monuments nationaux
Sheltering behind its sturdy ramparts amid a landscape of
marshland, lakes and salt pans, few places evoke the spirit of the Middle Ages quite so vividly.
Today, tourism plays a major part in the town’s economic well-being, but the production of wine, asparagus and sea salt are also important staple products. In the surrounding countryside, bulls and the magnificent Camargue horses are bred.
Highlights: Tour de Constance and a walk along the Ramparts (see below).
If it's beaches you're after, take the short drive down to Le Grau-du-Roi.