Sunday, April 3, 2016

Postcard: "The Eventail and Dames Tower" in Saint-Malo, Franco

This unused postcard, most likely 90 to 100 years old, features a scene from Saint-Malo, France, along the English Channel.

The French-language caption states "L'Evantail et la Tour des Dames," while the English caption reads "The Eventail and Dames Tower."

Eventail is the name of the beach pictured. I cannot find many references to a "Dames Tower." It could be Notre-Dame Tower. But I believe the actual answer is that it's 15th century Bidouane Tower (Tour Bidouane). If I'm wrong, please let me know in the comments section.

Here are some links to current pictures of the area: 1, 2, 3.

The city of Saint-Malo, a major tourist destination today, suffered near-destruction during World War II and was rebuilt during the late 1940s and 1950s. Of "The Burning of Saint Malo," historian Philip Beck wrote, in 1981:
"In August 1944 the historic walled city of Saint Malo, the brightest jewel of the Emerald Coast of Brittany, France, was almost totally destroyed by fire. This should not have happened.

"If the attacking U.S. forces had not believed a false report that there were thousands of Germans within the city it might have been saved. They ignored the advice of two citizens who got to their lines and insisted that there were less than 100 Germans — the members of two anti-aircraft units — in the city, together with hundreds of civilians who could not get out because the Germans had closed the gates.

"A ring of U.S. mortars showered incendiary shells on the magnificent granite houses, which contained much fine panelling and oak staircases as well as antique furniture and porcelain; zealously guarded by successive generations. Thirty thousand valuable books and manuscripts were lost in the burning of the library and the paper ashes were blown miles out to sea. Of the 865 buildings within the walls only 182 remained standing and all were damaged to some degree."
You can read Beck's full article here.

No comments:

Post a Comment