What a belfry ?
Brick or stone turn, the belfry is before a a whole civil construction. It is the communal tower compared to the parochial towers or lords. As far as possible (technical or financial possibilities), the communes will always tend to have the highest tower, most beautiful, best sounding (bells and chimes).
The belfry is, at the origin, the symbol of communal freedoms, freedoms acquired with their lords.
Thereafter, very often, the belfry will become also the symbol of the city itself as a monument most representative of this one.
The belfry is the assertion of a true capacity of the commune which built it.
For this reason, one can consider that it is the equivalent of the keep of the castle of lord. It is what will explain in a number of belfry, the presence of warlike architectural details like the turrets, the crenels to see machicoulis sometimes.
The belfries very quickly will be seen equipping with at least a bell, the "banclocke" or bell of the round of applause. It is it which, in top of the tower, will make it possible to be the voice of the commune (gatherings, alarm, convocation of the population…).
Mise à jour : jeudi 07 août 2008