WHAT looks to be an intriguing exhibition of relief models of fortified towns in France is currently on display at the Grand Palais in Paris.
The incredibly detailed maps were produced for military purposes from the reign of Louis XIV to the end of the 19th century.
For example, the map of Cherbourg covers an area of 160m² and would have provided military officers with information on siege warfare and fortifications, but also planners an insight into the geography of the area.
Some of the plans show a France long gone, for example the relief map of Brest shows the town before the bombs of world war two destroyed much of it.
The list of towns on show:
Montmélian (Savoie), Embrun (Hautes-Alpes), Briançon (Hautes-Alpes), Montdauphin (Hautes-Alpes), Grenoble (Isère), Fort Barraux (Isère), Exilles (Italie), Fenestrelles (Italie), Besançon (Doubs), Neuf-Brisach (Haut-Rhin), Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin), Luxembourg, Berg-op-Zoom (Pays-Bas), Saint-Omer (Pas-de-Calais), Cherbourg (Manche), Brest (Finistère).
La France en relief - De Louis XIV à Napoléon III
Grand Palais, Nef.
18 January to 17 February 2012