Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Without venom


It’s very spring like today and I feel like walking in the mountains but…I’ve put on so much weight and am so unfit that I wonder if a little stroll around the park wouldn’t be wiser.

Several kilos ago, I used to walk up the mountain above the village of Seyssinet-Pariset. Perched at the top is a small ruin known as the Tour Sans Venin, which means ‘Tower Without Venom’. There are many legends attached to this tower but they all agree that the place was once infested with poisonous snakes – a fact I wish I’d known before trekking up there. One legend tells of how the Dauphin (heir to the throne) promised land to those Lords who joined the Crusades. The Lord of Seyssinet was promised this beautiful piece of land – perfect for a château. However, he also knew that the place was riddled with snakes. When he came back from the Crusades, he brought with him a sack of soil from the Holy Land and spread this on the ground – snakes, of course, were the manifestation of the Devil. Sure enough, the snakes disappeared and the Lord was able to build his castle, of which this tower was part.


Another legend tells of a wise woman who lived there and who could treat snake bites by rubbing them with a mixture of herbs that grew close to the cliff’s edge. Yet another claims that the ruin is a monument to Isis, the goddess of fertility, built by peasants desperate to work the barren land.


Well, as long as the snakes are gone, I don’t really care which explanation is true…

7 comments:

Doc said...

Maybe the microwaves from the radio tower zapped 'em all?

Love your blog! So interesting!

Louise said...

That transmitter is AWFUL, isn't it?

Gigi said...

Yes, sorry folks - not one of my best photos. But it was the only shot I could get without the sun shining directly into the camera. And I'm not walking all the way up there again just to get another photo - I don't think my heart would last out (not in my present state anyway):-)

Louise said...

Not complaining about the photo - just that the awful mast is where it is.

part-time buddha said...

NO! I love the transmitter. Think about it - years from now there will be legends and false histories about the tower.

Let's start one now...There was a woman named Gigi who lived at the top of the tower. When the common people wanted to sing and to dance, they would talk to her through magical lines that ran underground (some even ran under the sea!) and tell her what they wanted to hear.

From the top of the tower, the celestial Gigi would play her magical instrument - a curious device with no strings or mouthpiece called an 'eye-pod' - whatever the common people wanted to hear. They would sing along. They would dance. They rejoiced in the wonderful magic of Gigi.

And then, one day...

Gigi said...

Yes, I like that Buddha...me - the birth of a legend...

Tinsie said...

Another beautiful story (or two), Gigi. Thanks for sharing with us!