Thursday, 21 September 2017

cheminées sarrasines

We enjoyed this article on the enduring mystery of the so-called Lanterns of the Dead from Amusing Planet and reminded us how we were first acquainted with the structure while on holiday on Île d’Oléron.
The purpose and origin of the towers that appear predominately in southern France but are also to be found in other European countries is unsettled but one theory suggests that the towers were guideposts built along ancient pilgrimage trails that pointed the way to the Holy Land—the French word for moors (maures) misheard as the word for “dead” (morts) and the new appellation eventually held. The use of the towers to gain one’s bearings—or orientation, of course comes from the lands to the East where the sun rises.