17 novembre 2005
In le moyen age, pigeons were more commonly cultivated for eggs and food than chickens. The fermes, farms, were built with pigeon towers. The inner wall of the tower was fitted with roosts. A rotating ladder went up the center of the tower, allowing the gathering of eggs. The tower was designed to allow the pigeons ingress and egress, but to keep cats and foxes out. Over time, it was discovered that a steady diet of pigeon led to the onset of kidney failure, and pigeon rapidly declined in popularity as a table staple - except in the prisons, where prisonners were kept on a pigeon diet. The onset of kidney failure was signalled by urine becoming intensely yellow. Prison guards gathered this urine and sold it to glass makers who were making stained-glass windows for the gothic churches and cathedrals under construction across France. These pictures are of a pigeon tower and farm dating from the 1200s that are being restored in Mandres-les-Roses, about 35 km southeast of Paris.