Amiens belfry and the watchman's terrible trap

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Detail - ©Patrick Despoix / CC-BY-SA Detail - ©Patrick Despoix / CC-BY-SA
Amiens belfry Belfry Accident Fire

The old belfry is located on the place du Fil, keeping an eye on Amiens city since centuries! Built upon the ruins of counts of Amiens' fortress, it was rebuilt in 1440 because it was ruined.

A fire destroyed the belfry in 1552. Do you know the story? The watchman was all alone at the top of the belfry. He couldn't escape! So he asked people downstairs to shoot him a mortal arrow...

The city rebuilt our belfry one year later and someone called Jean de Brugère, a smelter, to make 4 bells. Well, the city instituted proceedings to this man, because the bells weren't standard! The crook had to remake the bells, but the trial lasted a long time and finally... the smelter never made the bell. So, two men, Jean-Nicolas Delattre and Jean Maisné provided the new one in 1575.

Well, unfortunately, the belfry entirely burnt in 1742. A huge fire which consumed the tower in 16 minutes! 6 years later, the current belfry was rebuilt. They kept the 15th century square basis and they crowned it by a dome flanked by a turret. The bell was founded in 1748, it was called the Marie-Firmine.


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