Photographer's Note

March 31, 2007
Confolens 160106 16500
Charente Poitou-Charentes
46.017 0.667 176 m

The Pont-Vieux, "Old Bridge", on the river Vienne, built and altered of XIe siécle at the XVIIIe century, Confolens.

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It is one of the oldest bridge of the Middle Ages, in France, which succeeded a Roman bridge probably destroyed by the Norman ones in IXe century. Built of 1030 to 1050, out of granite of Confolens and limestone of Pressac, over a length of 127 m. Pourvu with triangular spurs for the flat upstream and buttresses for the downstream, it comprised, a drawbridge and 9 arches of which 1st, 4th and 9th increased each one a square tower staging itself of 9 m to 10,40 m. The drawbridge was replaced by one 10th arch in 1660-1675. Turns and constructions were removed in 1777-1778. The triangular pier-heads were rounded at the XIXe century.

This bridge on Vienna, allowed the passage between the parish of Saint-Maxime of the diocese of Limoges the parish of Barthélemy Saint of the diocese of Poitiers. This extremely rare organization between two dioceses, comes from the situation of linguistic frontier town between the language of oïl and the language of Oc.

Confolens, (occitan: Confolent), is a French commune, located in the department of Charente of the Poitou-Charentes area, populated of 2 855 Confolentais, distributed on 19 km², that is to say 150 hab./km². Created by the lords of Chabanais to the junction (from which it draws its name) of Vienna and Goire.
Known universally for its international festival of arts and popular traditions of the World, the town of Confolens organizes the festival of folklore of Confolens since a half century.

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Additional Photos by joel berthonneau (jlbrthnn) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 7186 W: 0 N: 22963] (76041)
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