Bridges and Defences

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In principle, bridges and defences are utilitarian structures, but they have ways of taking on symbolic roles. Defences are barriers that protect and obstruct or control. Bridges make connections across rivers or chasms that might otherwise be defences. In time of war, of course, they both have military significance, but, even when their intended use is in abeyance, they have a cultural role that is usually more familiar.

The defensive walls of Carcassonne and Neuf-Brisach, for example, have not come under attack for generations, but they continue to give their towns a well-defined edge and a sense of identity. Carcassonne, ...

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