Thursday, October 04, 2007

Le Pont De St.-Aignan

The Château de Saint-Aignan rises above the southern end of the bridge over the Cher River.

Saint-Aignan sits on the Cher River about forty kilometers south of Blois. The road that connects them, the D675, crosses the river here and continues south to Châtillon-sur-Indre. The crossing is the only significant bridge over the river for about ten miles on either side of St.-Aignan.

A view of our bridge from up-river in the town park.

When I say significant bridge, don't be thinking Golden Gate or Brooklyn. No, this is a stone, two-lane bridge that cars, trucks, buses, bikes, and pedestrians squeeze across. There are a couple of other bridges nearby, but they are one-lane, weight restricted bridges that serve only very local traffic.

The bridge hits the island. The St.-Aignan lock is on the right in this photo. One of those buildings on the left has recently been remodeled and opened as a bar.

The bridge also marks the location of one of the many locks on the Cher River. These were used in the old days when river traffic was heavier, connecting the Loire, via the Cher, to the now defunct Canal du Berry and points east.

A view of the northern end of the bridge on the Noyers side. There's a small beach in the river here. If you look closely you can see a guy standing in the river fishing under the arch.

The bridge provides the only access to the island where the town allotments, municipal pool, and local park are located.

A log hangs on one of the bridge abutments as a testament to the high water level last winter.

The entire town of Saint-Aignan has four signalized intersections, and two of them are on the bridge. One is on the Saint-Aignan side to regulate traffic into and out of town. Another is on the island to regulate traffic to and from the municipal pool. These two traffic lights are no more than ten car lengths apart.

The island's traffic light.

I didn't get a picture of it, but there is a monument to WWI American soldiers on the bridge where it crosses the island. This bridge also had strategic importance in the second world war, as a crossing point between occupied France to the north and free France to the south.

There's even graffiti under the bridge. One statement on the right says, "La vie est belle," life is good.

4 comments:

  1. Enjoyed your tour of the bridges over the Cher. Now I see how the island fits into the daily life of the town. Good photos as always.

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  2. GORGEOUS photos of the pont! I esp. like the one with the reflection in the river... It is so clear it looks like a mirror!! Elles sont TRES BELLES, vos photos!!
    -- Leesa

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  3. conn & leesa, thanks so much. Digital photography is so forgiving...

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  4. I took a pic of that monument
    http://flickr.com/photos/bip/534776637/
    Saint-Aignan is quite photogenic and you photograph her so well!

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