Aigues-Mortes / Frankrijk
In the center of "Petite Camargue" rises the fortified city-wall of Aigues-Mortes. The seaport is located between flat saltlakes, not far from the coast of the Mediterranean and belongs to the most important "Bastides" in France. Found in 1240 by Ludwig IX. as meeting place and port of the crusader-army, Aigues Mortes became starting point for crusades. The almost rectangular city system with collateral street of houses, has been built with a defence wall, 20 towers and 11 town gates in a few years. The bulky city wall, which belongs to the most beautiful ones of the history, documents about the military sigificance of the city. Aigues-Mortes has an exceptionally good location. Only a few kilometres away from the cities Nîmes and Montpellier and only 6 kilometres away from the Mediterranean. When the port silted up and eventually dried up, also the wealth of the city melt away. Today, the village is located 5 kilometres away from the ocean and the population shrunk to one-third of the existing one time to 5000 inhabitants.