Living in Cordes – Stone walls

Cordes-sur-Ciel was built as a safe haven for people who lost their homes in the nearby city of Saint Marcel, which was razed during the Albigensian Crusade. Said to be the first of the bastides, it has five walls built in concentric circles.

(More about the history of Cordes-sur-Ciel can be found here.)

A neighbor recently told us that the stone wall across from our home is the unfinished fifth wall. Indeed, our house is just below the Porte de l’Horloge, the eastern entrance to the medieval city, which is in the fourth wall, built between the 14th and 16th century. Our neighborhood, quartier du Barri, is a 17th century suburb of the medieval village.

Cordes sits on a rocky outcropping, and is entirely built of local stone: limestone, sandstone, and dolomite. The houses are stone and the streets in the medieval village are cobbled. Walls surround every garden and line every street.



There are walls upon walls upon walls.

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Living without a car gives me plenty of time to appreciate stone walls all around. One of the most delightful things about Cordes is its authenticity: it looks like and is a place that has been continually inhabited since the 13th century. The walls reflect its history.

They bring me peace, connectedness, and a sense of stability. They are the keepers of the stories.

I never tire of their variety, their richness, their complexity.

In a village of art, the stone walls are perhaps the greatest art.


16 thoughts on “Living in Cordes – Stone walls

  1. What an amazing experience you are having – thanks so much for sharing it with me. Keep safe. Love, Lynne

  2. Great photos. I’m in Peru, many ruins. Your photos look like the rock walls in Machu Picchu today.

  3. Jack and I so love looking at your fabulous pictures of walls and hearing your thoughts! Thank you so much for keeping us tuned in ways I could have never imagined would have happened!

  4. Eve,
    I am so glad that you and Tom are in Cordes. The two of you are able to appreciate the art and history of the wonderful village when so many can’t see or appreciate their environments.

  5. Dear Eve, I love reading about your new home and environs. The walls are so interesting and varied. I lived in Bath, England, which boasts Roman walls, many around the city in bits and pieces. A beautiful city, too. I popped into Mama Ganache for some chocolate and Ben said his trip to Africa with Tom was amazing, life changing. He seems a lovely chap. And Gail loved seeing your place. I will see her Friday for more details, saw her at a PAC concert, so not any time to really chat. Sending big hugs your way. Love, Victoria

    “…..the more I give to thee, the more I have.” William Shakespeare, 1564-1616(Romeo and Juliette)


  6. I so enjoy reading your blog Eve. While I was enjoying the stone walls and fences in Scotland, you are doing so in France. They do hold such an interesting history. Lovely pictures.

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