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Eglise Notre-Dame des Sablons

Aigues-Mortes is about an hour south of Avignon in the heart of the marshy Camargue, a delightful walled town that was fortified in the 13th century by King Louis IX; it is now on the Canal Rhône-Sète although back in medieval times it was a strategic seaport on the Rhône delta. The creamy-stoned Gothic Church of Our Lady of the Sablon stands over the labyrinth of cobbled streets, built in the early years of the 13th century, and it was from here that Louis IX set out on his crusade to the Holy Land in 1248.

Notre-Dame-des-Sablons has a turbulent history; starting life as a Catholic church, it was sacked by the Protestants in 1575 and the bell tower then collapsed in 1634, rendering the building unusable for almost a century. It was renovated between 1738 and 1744, and during the French Revolution in the 1790s was used as a barracks and salt depository.

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