Le château et la ville : conjonction, opposition, juxtaposition (XIe-XVIIIe siècle)
The dramatic topological changes experienced, for various reasons, by western towns since the 18th century meant that, in the spirit of many of our contemporaries, the castles of the Middle Ages - those which are more correctly defined as castle-forts – were almost always constructed in rural areas, connected to a village or even in a strategic position deliberately isolated. In reality, for centuries, the key and most famous castles had tended to be linked to towns, so much so that the expression “town and castle” was very widespread. The presence of castles or city fortresses can have multiple meanings: these constructions strongly symbolic were there just as much to reinforce the safety of the town against external enemies as for dominating the urban region and its residents, actually or potentially rebels. Based on concrete cases, well documented and mainly illustrated, the present work contemplates the study of this key question with multiples implications, involving aspects of policy and military, topographical and administrative, economic and social aspects.