France – The Window Tower Of Uzes

Uzes was an impromptu stopover on our way to the Pont du Gard, part of the 1st century Roman aqua-duct, built to supply water to Nimes. This lovely medieval village in the Languedoc province, lies at the source of the Fontaine d’Eure and is the starting point of the aqua-duct.

The first thing that catches your eye as you arrive, is the iconic symbol of Uzes, the Tour Fenestrelle, also referred to as the ‘Window Tower’ because of its unique paired windows. A free standing circular tower reminiscent of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Tour Fenestrelle, Uzes – Languedoc, France

The 42 metre high Romanesque structure is the bell tower of the cathedral of St. Théodorit. The 11th century cathedral that houses the relics of the saint, was rebuilt in the 17th century and the tower is the sole remnant of the original structure.

And supposedly the only round bell tower in France! (Couldn’t find much conclusive evidence online to support that claim, except for the fact that round towers are uncommon in France.)

The Romanesque facade of the cathedral was added in the 19th century, but the 17th century organ is still in use and organ festivals are held here every summer.

Cathedral of St Theodorit, Uzes – Languedoc, France

Although we missed the famous Saturday market, the little lanes radiating from the charming central square – the Place aux Herbes – were enticing and we spent a very enjoyable few hours exploring them and browsing the little textile and craft shops.

Our enjoyment came at a price however. By the time we were ready to set off for our original destination – the Pont du Gard – we got caught in a sudden downpur, and were forced to abandon our plans and return to Avignon.

We never made it back to the Pont du Gard.

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on instagram.com/theurgetowander

76 thoughts on “France – The Window Tower Of Uzes

  1. Thanks Madhu, I’ve enjoyed going back to your other Provence posts. It reminds me of how little I’ve seen of France – too busy with places that I find more exotic! My theory has been that I can go to Europe anytime when I’m really old, the adventures are best while I have enough energy 🙂

    1. That is my theory regarding destinations closer to home, and the reason why I have covered so little of India and even South East Asia 🙂

  2. The brick color of the tower is much more beautiful than the 19th century cathedral. Quel dommage! A stunning and authentic bell tower.
    Visiting a local market is one of my favorite things when I’m on holiday. And I do hope one day you’ll make it to the Pond du Gar, Madhu 🙂

    1. I prefer the older tower too!
      We went to the Arles market on the Saturday we were there, so no regrets about missing the market, but yes we shall have to return for the Pont du Gard 🙂

  3. Very well captured shots and an interesting area,
    which I love to visit 1-2 times every year… 🙂

    It isn’t easy reach visiting places like Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and India – and India itself are bigger than Europe – the issue is time, why isn’t there 48 hours every day and not only 24… ‘hahahaha’

    But I have reached to visit every country in Europe also some of the former countries – but I’ve also using my business as “excuse” to look around a bit when I landed anyway… 🙂 😉

    1. I wish that all the time Ledrake. And money growing on trees would help too 🙂
      You are fortunate to be able to visit Europe so often.

  4. Buildings like these always amaze me. Thank you for sharing the wonder with us, Madhu. Many blessings and much love to you. 🙂

    Subhan Zein

  5. That’s a shame about the downpour. Travel always throws some type of obstacles and I find you just have to go with the flow.

    1. Absolutely. Can’t do much about weather and elections! The presidential election in Buenos Aires messed up our plans a bit as well 🙂

  6. Never mind Avignon has a nice bridge too ;). Are there steps in Tour Fenestrelle? And if so, is it allowed to climb them?

    1. It is, and there are guided tours of the church and tower. We didn’t do it because we had just stopped on impulse and our visit didn’t coincide with the opening hours or perhaps it was closed, I can’t remember clearly. I was happy to have seen the tower and we stopped to have coffee of course 🙂

  7. I love seeing pictures of places that are off the tourist-map, if not completely off the map. I think there are a lot of amazing places that no one looks at, just because they are not where everyone goes and photographs. I often think for most extremely touristy places you can do what my grandmother said: “I don’t see why I should spend money on travelling. I can just see those on TV and peel potatoes at the same time.” But you won’t see little jewels like these on TV.

    1. Uzes is less visited, but I don’t think it is that far off the tourist radar. There are so many beautiful little villages around Provence that I would love to get lost in!
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts Nathy 🙂

  8. The window tower oddly matches the description I had made in my mind when I read Tennyson’s The Lady Of Shalott!
    Excellent photos!

  9. From below the tower is already grand and amazing. The view from the top in one of the windows must be breathtaking. Beautiful images with a rich history. Thanks. Have a blessed day.

    1. It must. We didn’t climb up though, On hindsight, we should have just stayed on and spent a longer time here. A great day to you too 🙂

  10. What lovely architecture! Love the round tower, Madhu. Do you speak French? Is it different in different regions? We are already thinking of going back….

    1. Paris does that to you 🙂
      No I don’t speak Fenchl. Have been meaning to learn, just haven’t found the time. We didn’t notice any marked difference between Provence and Paris or even the Cote d Azur.

  11. As always thanks a lot for taking us to a different part of world. It’s sad that you could not make to Pont du Gard and you missed the Saturday market!

    1. We got to see many other weekly markets, but the Pont was a disappointment. Thank YOU for dropping by Arindam 🙂

    1. Oh yes we do Meg. It was a lovely place by itself. if i ever return I will drive from one village to another and spend a night in each 🙂

  12. It does resemble the leaning tower of Pisa. I d never heard of the Uzes, will try to keep that in mind when we plan a trip to France.

  13. Been in Languedoc a couple of times – never found the cathedral that beautiful and interesting as on your photos here – can see that you have a passion for churches and what they mean to history. Great job.

    1. I do and normally i would have spent a considerable time nosing around the interiors, but R had had enough of monuments and just wanted to enjoy the village 🙂

    1. I am sure! You have been to so many places in France yourself Amy. Will have to read all those posts before i plan my return trip 🙂

  14. I did not realize that round towers were uncommon in France. I will have to ask some of my French friends.

  15. What a very beautiful tower, in fact far more attractive than Pisa. I imagine that the organ recitals must be wondrous. Thanks so much for sharing again, Madhu. Sorry you got wet. 🙂

  16. It looks completely different peaking over the cathedral than when you see it in isolation, Madhu.
    What a cunning way to enter Jake’s Sunday Post. I almost missed that.

    1. Thanks Tata. The resemblance surprised me too 🙂
      By the way, I was having trouble downloading your posts earlier, the images wouldn’t open at all. You might want to look at re-sizing larger photos.

      1. Oh! Thank you for letting me know M! I will try to have a look into it, as I’m a tiny useless with settings and all…cool, I’m gonna learn something new! 😉

  17. Stunning architectural shots, Madhu! Tour Fenestrelle is beautiful! I like it more than Pisa! In fact, after standing there for a while, I have the urge to push it back into place! Hahaha!

  18. Beautiful shots. I love how all of Europe is full of charming old buildings and towers, and unlike in India, so wonderfully preserved.

  19. You have some of the most fascinating historical posts and you are a great story teller! Thank you for all your wonderful photo tours!

  20. Indeed that “window tower” shows such strong resemblance to the Leaning tower of Pisa. Except it is not leaning I guess.Tell me Madhu, is there some architectural link between this towers… and others? From my somewhat limited travels through Europe, I seem to recall other similar structures….

    As always, I love the beautiful synergy you bring between your text and the shots. Thank you.

    Shakti

  21. These are impressive photos, Madhu. I have never been to the south of France, but the summer before last my daughter Bea brought home pictures of herself and her friends swimming beneath the Pont du Guard. Another place I must add to my to-go list!

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