15 May 2017

Le pont de Saint-Aignan

The bridge at Saint-Aignan used to have a mill on it. You can see the old stone constructions under the bridge that were part of the installation. I'm not sure when the mill was torn down, but it was not that many decades ago.


There is also a restaurant on the bridge, or on the island just across from town. The Cher river splits at Saint-Aignan because of the island, which is used as a playground with swings and slides, as well as a park where fairs, markets, and outdoor concerts are held. On the other side of the bridge is a swimming pool complex with indoor and outdoor pools.


Nowadays there is often a lot of traffic on the bridge, because the zoo on the south side of town has become such a big tourist attraction. The bridge is narrow. There has been talk for decades about building a second, modern bridge, but so far nothing is in the works that I know of — at least not for the immediate future.


By the way, look how low the water level in the Cher is fight now, compared to what it was like during the flooding in May and June 2106.



One other main feature of the Saint-Aignan bridge is a monument to the memory of American soldiers who were stationed here in 1917-18, toward the end of World War I. The American base was a behind-the-lines hospital and supply station for troops fighting in northeastern France. As the legend on the war memorial says, "Half a million American soldiers passed through the supply depot at Saint-Aignan, and 853 died in the region."

12 comments:

  1. I wonder if that depot was also a field hospital where soldiers wounded on the front were sent, because the legend says the Americans soldiers died in this region. It doesn't say thet were killed. It's ambiguous, to say the least.

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    1. Yes, there was a hospital here. I'm not sure whether it was in Montrichard or Saint-Aignan (or Noyers). And you're right about 'sont morts' — it struck me as odd when I wrote 'killed' because there were no World War I battles in this part of France, were there? So yes, wounded soldiers were brought here for medical care and some of them died here in the Cher Valley.

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    2. I believe many of them died in the influenza epidemic at the end of the war. The hospital was used, among other things, as a base for treating infectious diseases. Here's a link to the post I wrote about the memorial and the hospital: The American Camp.

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    3. Thanks Susan. The 1918 flu epidemic. I lost ancestors to that one in N.C.

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    4. Another major cause of fatalities in WWI was infection, because there was no effective offset. Even a scratch could become infected and eventually result in amputation or death. Penicillin wasn't discovered until the late 1920s, and it was only well into WWII that it was used against infection. So some of those wounded in your area may have had that kind of bad luck.

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  2. Mais l'on n'y danse pas, je suppose?!

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    1. Trop de voitures de nos jours, je pense.

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    2. The bridge in Avignon is a bridge to nowhere since a least one arch is missing. So no traffic!u

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  3. Oh, my heavens. Thanks, Susan, and Ken, for this information about the fallen soldiers, and the hospital.

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  4. How touching and sad , the monument . I don't like going over bridges lol ... I am a nutter. But I like looking at them.

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  5. I hope the bridge stays in place since it looks so nice there. Perhaps they will build a new one at a spot that helps everyone get to the zoo quicker.

    The first photo is lovely.

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