Sunday, August 02, 2009

Degrés Des Trois Glorieuses

These steps lead up from the river to the château. They come down right where the bridge crosses the river, so they would be the most direct route from St.-Aignan's northern gate to the château, for pedestrians, anyway; horses and carts would have to go up through town.

The steps lead up from the Hotel du Moulin (the Mill Hotel) to the château.

Where I stood to take this picture is now a parking lot along the river where the bridge crosses. There used to be a big mill on this site. The bridge was an integral part of the mill building, which was built out over the river to take advantage of the watercourse. The bridge serves as a small dam on this section of the Cher, creating a reservoir of water that once powered the mill.

Unfortunately, the mill and the adjacent downriver buildings are long gone. All that remain of them are some footings in the river. And a lovely parking lot.

Saint-Aignan's former mill on the river Cher.

But I found the above image on the web. It's an old postcard that shows the bridge and the mill before it was destroyed. It's from a site called There is a nice collection of other old images there if you're interested.

By the way, les Trois Glorieuses (the Three Glorious Days) are named for three days of revolt against King Charles X and his power grab in July 1830. You can read about it here and here.

***UPDATE: I found this cool video on the history of the St.-Aignan mill. It's in French. The video is still visually interesting if you don't understand French.


  1. Are parking lots anything else than lovely?

  2. The trouble is you don't know what you've got till it's gone.

  3. I'm loving your St. Aignan series...and that site with the old postcards is fantastic! I hope you will have many "see it now" pictures to match those on the site.

    When, how, & why were the the old mill buildings destroyed?

    BTW You once said that a train ticket from Onzain to Paris was about 10 Euros...I can't find a fare nearly that cheap on SCNF website.


  4. The mill burned in 1947. It was re-roofed while various rehab projects were proposed. None were accepted, and the mill was demolished in 1974.

  5. And sometimes you pave paradise.


  6. Bill

    I did a bogus reservation for September and I got a roundtrip ticket for 20€. The trick is Advanced Reservation - can't get the same fare for August for example.

  7. Exactly, TB. I was able to get a ticket for 8/29 from Onzain to Paris, but I bought it back in July. Advance purchase is the trick.

  8. The mill was huge, wasn't it?

  9. Great video, although I wish there had been less chat and more views.

  10. Brilliant. Great photo and superb references. Fascinating. i'm really enjoying this stuff.


Tell me what you think!