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>>Learn more about the six burghers of Calais with Alinoé and Thibault...
30 avril 2010
Why is there a statue of the Six Burghers of Calais ?
The statue of the Six Burghers of Calais near London Houses of Parliament
In fact we discovered there are two statues !
one we saw in London in a park near the Houses of Parliament
Les Bourgeois de Calais was done by Auguste Rodin, completed in 1889,to remember what happened during the Hundred Years’ War, when Calais, an important French port on the English Channel, was under siege by the English for over a year.
The monument was proposed by the mayor of Calais for the town’s square in 1880. This was an unusual move, because normally only monuments to Victory were constructed, it was long to recognize the sacrifice that these young men had made.
The statue of the Six Burghers of Calais in front of Calais Townhall
The story of the Six Burghers of Calais
In 1347, according to the fourteenth-century Chronicles of Jean Froissart , King Edward III of England laid siege to the French town of Calais. After eleven months, with the people desperately short of food and water, six of the leading citizens, or burghers, of Calais offered themselves as hostages to Edward in exchange for the freedom of their city. The king agreed, ordering them to dress in plain garments, wear nooses around their necks, and journey to his camp bearing the keys to the city. Although the king intended to kill the burghers, his pregnant wife, Philippa, persuaded him to spare them, believing that their deaths would be a bad omen for her unborn child.
Portrait of Edward III
The Burghers’ lives were saved by Philippa of Hainault (did you know she was from Valenciennes ?)
Philippa of Hainault
In history, though the burghers expected to be executed, their lives were spared by the intervention of the English Queen, Philippa of Hainault, who persuaded her husband needed to exercise mercy by claiming that their deaths would be a bad omen for her unborn child.
Philippa was born in Valenciennes (1314-1369). she was married to Edward III in 1328.
Alinoé and Thibault