Bitche, the French town has been in frontier country for many centuries. It is situated in Lorraine, in an area that has changed hands between French and German rule many times. The old people still speak a German dialect but since 1918 the area is French and the youngsters speak French for the most part, even at home. But some things last – like the tradition of celebrating “Hexenacht” (Witches’ Night or Walpurgis Night), the night from 30 April to 1 May, when witches are said to gather and celebrate. In the area, youngsters used to roam the streets and were up to a lot of mischief. Today, it is often celebrated with parties, dancing, and feasting.
Bitche is dominated by the citadel built in the 17th century by the French and is today still a monument to the fact that the town was always contested between the two countries. The massive blocks of the fortification are ever so slightly tapered towards the top.
The arrow slits in the walls are narrow apertures to allow a bowman to shoot through while being protected by the thick walls.
These triplets are dwarved by the citadel yet are big, strong trees if considered separately.
While I have no photo to illustrate gushing, I certainly have been gushing about a town which to English ears carries an unusual name: Bitche.
These photos were taken almost four years ago – just before I changed cameras as there was a spot looking like a water droplet almost in the middle which could not be fixed.
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