Philippe III le Hardi, King of France. Painting by Laemlein, 1844.
ROYAL POWER AND THE NEW FACE OF THE FORTIFIED TOWN The Third Phase
Philippe IV (Philippe le Bel). Engraving, XIXth Century.
third great construction phase was begun during the last years
of Philippe III le Hardi's reign (1270-1285) and the beginning
of Philippe le Bel's reign (1285-1314), in order to modernise
a fortress that had become the symbol of royal power on the
border between France and Aragon. Benifiting from the royal
engineers' skills, the
ancient inner wall which had previously been
restored between 1226 and 1239 underwent major reconstruction.
The new masonry work in bond
contrasts with the facing of the old wall. The south west corner
and the area between the Narbonne Gate and the curtain wall
facing the Moulin
du Connétable Tower were rebuilt. However, the
decision was taken to preserve the ancient fortification on
the south and north sides but repairs had to be made to some
of the facings
and parts of the footing. On the north east side the ancient
perimeter was abandoned in only one section in order to raise
the curtain wall that joined the Trésau and Moulin du Connétable
towers. The line of defence was completed with circular towers
except for the Saint-Nazaire and Bishop's Towers which were
square. A great many of these towers were rebuilt on the foundations
of ancient towers. The Trésau
Tower and the Narbonne
Gate were erected on the eastern facade. They
are remarkable examples of Gothic architecture which combined
military ingenuity, comfort and sumptuous decoration.