A little history of Craffe gate in Nancy

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The gate - ©Alf van Beem / CC0 The gate - ©Alf van Beem / CC0
Nancy Craffe gate Fortification

This tower, with machicolations and 2 big towers, was one of the 2 gates which used to close the old city of Nancy. The main part was raised at the end of the 14th century, the 2 round towers date back to the middle of the 15th century. First it was called portes des Bordes in 1382, then porte de la Craif in 1405: Craffe of Lascraffe came later. Maybe this name came from the German word Kraft, which means "strong"?

Duke of Burgundy Charles the bold came through that gate after he besieged Nancy, on November 1476. But duke René II came and released inhabitants in January 1477... One century after the construction, in 1463, they added the two round towers on each side. Duke Henri II transformed it in 1615. Our gate had a strong defensive function, but not only.

The janitor who opened and closed the gate each night lived here, and they even transformed a floor into a jail in the 15th century! They locked up here women accused of sorcery... On the gate was a sculpture of Virgin Mary, called the Annunciation: that's why the gate was often called "Our-Lady gate"! Duke René II put this statue here, because after his victory in Nancy, he repaired the gate and raised the second façade, linked to the first façade by a vault.

The statue was destroyed during the Revolution. But we still can see it! Yes, in the Musée Lorrain! At the end of the 19th century, they added openings to the façade; on each side, they added a Lorraine cross and carved the date of 1336: probably a fantasy of the sculptor, added during the 19th century restoration!


And also!