Medieval Fortified Village

Life was not always very safe in the old days. Not only were cities and towns often walled to protect people from various armies or brigands, but even small villages or individual farms were sometimes walled in one fashion or another.

Building a wall was expensive. Smaller towns and villages often did not build a free-standing wall, but rather constructed their buildings, which were often just houses and shops, in a ring with the entrance of their houses facing inward, and the back of the houses facing outward. The back of these buildings acted as the wall. If the backs of the buildings had windows at all, the windows were up high, well out of the easy reach of an enemy combatant. These rings of houses were often oval in shape with two or more city gates.

Valangin is a medieval fortified village of this type, but with the added protection of a castle (chateau) with a surrounding castle wall. Most of the photos here show the facades on the buildings facing inward. The second photo shows a portion of the castle on the hill, and another photo shows the village gate on the left with a building constructed outside of the fortified village to the right of the gate. This building with its three floors and attic was for sale in 2005. I wish I could have bought it.

The last building in this series, the narrow two story building, is not an ancient building. It is a utility building, for the telephone system I believe, and built in the 20th century. It stands just outside the fortified village. I included it here to show that even a simple utility building can be attractive.

Double-click on a photo for an enlarged view.


Rue Bourg

Chateau on Hill

5 Rue Bourg

7 Rue Bourg

9 Rue Bourg

11 Rue Bourg


Cafe Chateau


Weber Bakery

Village Gate

Small Chateau

Chateau Door

Arched Window

Utility Building

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© Lennart Holmquist, 2005-2014 Comments and