A memorial to Protestant women prisoners
This is an important Protestant memorial, under the administration of the Centre des Monuments Nationaux (Centre for National Monuments), which commemorates the tragedy of the Protestant women (including Marie Durand) held in the Tower. She was a prisoner for 38 years and is said to have engraved the word ‘Resist’ on the edge of the well. The stories of these prisoners in the Tower are detailed on display boards.
An exhibition, in the Porte de la Gardette, which explains the history of the Reformation in the French Midi and includes 3 films, is open all year round.
To visit this memorial, phone the local tourist office on 0466537300.
The Tower of Constance in Aigues Mortes (Gard)
Place Anatole France, 30220 Aiguës-Mortes, France
Inscriptions sur des murs de prison
Ces inscriptions sont les traces des prisonniers pour leur foi.
Marie Durand (1711-1776)
For the French protestants, Marie Durand symbolized those who resisted religious intolerance after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
Royal repression against the Protestants
The revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 made any Protestant worship illegal, for instance temples were demolished and pastors expelled. As for the Protestants, they were forbidden to leave the Kingdom.
The persecutions against them were deemed absolutely legitimate at the time according to the interpretation of Luke’s verse 14:23 ‘compel them to come in’: the Protestants were considered heretic and schismatic and had to be brought back within the Catholic Church. Death penalty, sentence to galleys for men, to prison for women…The repressive measures were varied, but failed to defeat Protestant resistance, as in the example of Marie Durand who was locked up in Aigues-Mortes for 38 years.
The role of women in Protestantism
From the “good” woman of Proverbs to the woman citizen