A short drive from the French colonial town of Prairie du Rocher on the Mississippi river floodplain is Fort de Chartres. The fort boasts a summer reenactment called the Rendezvous (although it would be hard to beat Lafayette, Indiana’s “Feast of the Hunter’s Moon” with its French voyageurs) as well as a traditional French New Year’s Eve celebration called la Guignonee.
My way with architecture is to try to interact with it in some way. This fort is incredibly photogenic and I scampered all over trying to capture with the camera what the eye was seeing. After a shot of the flood plain with ripe cornfields and the river road bluffs in the background, the photographs follow roughly my path through the fort: 1) next to parking lot at the side of the fort, the cannon with Dolphin handles and writing in French 2) the entrance in the center of the front wall 3) officers barracks in the back where the museum is and where the winter festival is held, cart, some back buildings with oven 4) the little building with the buttresses and peaked roof is the ammunition storage which is thought to be the oldest building in Illinois 5) a small turret (?) on the corner and some views through various windows 6) the sheltered platform over the front entrance with great views of the whole fort 7) plaques with explanations in French and English 8﴿ the front of the fort taken from the road.