"That is a bomb shelter, right?" was one Lux Occulta's reaction to the Church of San Giacomo at Foligno, pictured in my post Storms brewing over Church architecture in Italy. Today I received an email from Simon Cotton which makes me think that the comment was unfair to bomb shelters.
In the latest issue of New Directions (p.18), Simon Cotton writes:
A church is a church, but hundreds of years ago it might be the only substantial building in a community. When danger threatened, it was a natural refuge, and if danger persisted it was only natural to make it more secure, by fortifying it. The finest collection of these (see New Directions Jan 2010, p. 18) is in the region of NE France called the Thiérache, where most fortifcations that remain today are in 16th and 17th c. brick.The photo above, copied from Simon's article, shows the fortified towers of the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin in Prisces.