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grande porte monumentale à avant-porte

English translation: the large doorway in the foregate

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:grande porte monumentale à avant-porte
English translation:the large doorway in the foregate
Entered by: Christopher Crockett
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13:47 Mar 15, 2007
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Architecture / Blandy-les-Tours castle
French term or phrase: grande porte monumentale à avant-porte
A rather urgent question for a translation on the Blandy-les-Tours castle (due in a few hours). I have looked through countless images of this castle, but still don't picture what they are talking about. A monumental gate with an outer door?
Any help is greatly appreciated.

La première entrée par la Tour carrée a été remplacée, au cours du XIVe siècle, par deux portes sur la nouvelle enceinte : la petite porte ou poterne, ouvrant sur la basse-cour, et la grande porte monumentale à avant-porte. Des ponts-levis devaient permettre le franchissement du fossé.
French Foodie
Local time: 00:47
the large main gate
Explanation:
Sounds to me like you've got two "doorways" in the new wall.

A small "postern door" (petite porte ou poterne), which opens onto the lower courtyard (?basse-cour) and a large main gate.

"à avant-porte" is somewhat enigmatic (hard to believe that French would be enigmatic, but sometimes....).

Since we have a "typical" moat around the _castrum_ with a drawbridge (ponts-levis devaient permettre le franchissement du fossé) leading to these doorways, we have to imagine some sort of large tower-like structure in which the main gate (and the postern) were set --even though the text tells us that the old, original tower was "remplacée, au cours du XIVe siècle"; I really can't picture a gate (or gates) in a fortification just being in a towerless wall (sur la nouvelle enceinte).

In any case, "postern" or "postern doorway" (even though that is redundant) is what you want for the smaller door:

POSTERN

Etymology: Middle English posterne, from Anglo-French, alteration of Old French posterle, from Late Latin posterula, diminutive of postera back door, from Latin, feminine of posterus
Date: 14th century
1 : a back door or gate
2 : a private or side entrance or way

It is generally understood that a postern indicates a smaller (pedestrian) doorway in a fortification, rather than a larger gate which could accomodate horses and vehicles.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2007-03-15 16:14:56 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Looking on your castle's main site, it would seem that this is your postern,

http://www.casteland.com/pfr/chateau/idf/seinemarne/blandy/b...

seen from the exterior: 7th from the top in the right hand column

and from the inside: 10th from the top (bottom right).

I really don't see a shot of what might be your "grande porte", unless it is the bottom picture in the right column here:

http://www.casteland.com/pfr/chateau/idf/seinemarne/blandy/b...

Those curious walls on either side of it *might* be the remains of the original "Tour carrée".

But that gate doesn't really look large enough to me to be the main entrance to the whole complex.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2007-03-15 16:29:51 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Ahhhh.... here might be your "avant-porte"

http://welcome.to/blandy

--the second bird's eye drawing on the page.

the "avant-porte" is the fortification protecting the drawbridge on the other side of the moat from the castle itself.

I'm not sure how to translate that --"foregate", perhaps.

Your French text just isn't clear, to me, looking at this drawing.

La première entrée par la Tour carrée a été remplacée, au cours du XIVe siècle, par deux portes sur la nouvelle enceinte :

The original entrance (to the complex) in a square tower [I'm not sure why "Tour" is capitalized here] was replaced in the 14th c.
by two gates in the new wall:

la petite porte ou poterne, ouvrant sur la basse-cour,

the small (postern) gate which opened onto the lower (or: *outer*) courtyard,

et la grande porte monumentale à avant-porte.

and the great monumental gate in a foregate structure built on the other side of the moat,

Des ponts-levis devaient permettre le franchissement du fossé.

a drawbridge allowing passage over the latter.

This makes sense, both in English and from the drawing, although we can't see the postern in the drawing.

But, if the postern gave onto the courtyard **within the walls**, then it could hardly be in foregate structure --it would have been in the tower on the castle side of the moat.

I now think that "basse-cour" refers to the "outer" courtyard, just inside the first line of walls.

There was a smaller, "inner" courtyard formed by the buildings within, which are built around it.

In this interpretation, we are dealing with a "porte à avant-porte" --a gate in the foregate structure.


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2007-03-15 16:32:52 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Re-reading Miranda's answer, I'm confirmed in my foregate idea --in her example we would have had a fore-door before a main door, both being within the same structure (usually a tower).

But at Blandy we've got a whole seperate structure (the foregate) which formed the "porte à avant-porte".

And, for these structure, "gate" is preferable to "door".

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2007-03-15 16:41:37 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

This aerial view

http://www.linternaute.com/sortir/chateau-france/blandy-les-...

makes it clear that the main gateway in the walls has lost the top of its tower, which is what gives it such a curious appearance.

The foregate structure, which is gone as well, would have been just accross the moat from that main gate.

In this view

http://perso.orange.fr/fou.ailes/IMG_2626.jpg

you can see that this foregate would have been right at the intersection of two roads which approached the village from that side.
Selected response from:

Christopher Crockett
Local time: 18:47
Grading comment
thanks very much to everyone for your help, and especially Christopher for all the effort and research. It is very much appreciated!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4the large main gate
Christopher Crockett
4in front of it......xxxCMJ_Trans
3outer door
French2English
3large fore-door entrance
Miranda Joubioux


  

Answers


9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
in front of it......


Explanation:
Don't know the place but if you conjure up a picturte of what they say you get the following:
La première entrée par la Tour carrée a été remplacée, au cours du XIVe siècle, par deux portes sur la nouvelle enceinte : la petite porte ou poterne, ouvrant sur la basse-cour, et la grande porte monumentale à avant-porte. Des ponts-levis devaient permettre le franchissement du fossé.

The old door has been replaced by two doors. A small door, which opens on to the "basse-cour" (farmyard?) and a big door in front of it, so you have to go through it first before coming upon the other smaller door.

I leave it to you to formulate this notion in line with your translation for the rest of the text.

Keep cool - panicking when your working against the clock isn't going to help !
Take a few deep breaths and go for a 5-minute walkabout....

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 21 mins (2007-03-15 14:08:41 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

you're working - what a howler - I wish I could stop making typos

xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 00:47
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 43
Notes to answerer
Asker: Duh! Of course. Thank you. You make it sound so clear! I am going to take your advice go for a quick walk outside to soak up some of the incredible sunshine that I am not getting any of today.

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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
large fore-door entrance


Explanation:
I'd try something like this.

avant-porte n.f.
Lorsqu'une entrée de bâtiment comporte une double porte, l'avant-porte est la porte extérieure, ou porte hors-oeuvre, par opp. à la porte intérieure dans-oeuvre.
GB : fore-door
Dicobat 2006

Miranda Joubioux
Local time: 00:47
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 78
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
the large main gate


Explanation:
Sounds to me like you've got two "doorways" in the new wall.

A small "postern door" (petite porte ou poterne), which opens onto the lower courtyard (?basse-cour) and a large main gate.

"à avant-porte" is somewhat enigmatic (hard to believe that French would be enigmatic, but sometimes....).

Since we have a "typical" moat around the _castrum_ with a drawbridge (ponts-levis devaient permettre le franchissement du fossé) leading to these doorways, we have to imagine some sort of large tower-like structure in which the main gate (and the postern) were set --even though the text tells us that the old, original tower was "remplacée, au cours du XIVe siècle"; I really can't picture a gate (or gates) in a fortification just being in a towerless wall (sur la nouvelle enceinte).

In any case, "postern" or "postern doorway" (even though that is redundant) is what you want for the smaller door:

POSTERN

Etymology: Middle English posterne, from Anglo-French, alteration of Old French posterle, from Late Latin posterula, diminutive of postera back door, from Latin, feminine of posterus
Date: 14th century
1 : a back door or gate
2 : a private or side entrance or way

It is generally understood that a postern indicates a smaller (pedestrian) doorway in a fortification, rather than a larger gate which could accomodate horses and vehicles.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2007-03-15 16:14:56 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Looking on your castle's main site, it would seem that this is your postern,

http://www.casteland.com/pfr/chateau/idf/seinemarne/blandy/b...

seen from the exterior: 7th from the top in the right hand column

and from the inside: 10th from the top (bottom right).

I really don't see a shot of what might be your "grande porte", unless it is the bottom picture in the right column here:

http://www.casteland.com/pfr/chateau/idf/seinemarne/blandy/b...

Those curious walls on either side of it *might* be the remains of the original "Tour carrée".

But that gate doesn't really look large enough to me to be the main entrance to the whole complex.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2007-03-15 16:29:51 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Ahhhh.... here might be your "avant-porte"

http://welcome.to/blandy

--the second bird's eye drawing on the page.

the "avant-porte" is the fortification protecting the drawbridge on the other side of the moat from the castle itself.

I'm not sure how to translate that --"foregate", perhaps.

Your French text just isn't clear, to me, looking at this drawing.

La première entrée par la Tour carrée a été remplacée, au cours du XIVe siècle, par deux portes sur la nouvelle enceinte :

The original entrance (to the complex) in a square tower [I'm not sure why "Tour" is capitalized here] was replaced in the 14th c.
by two gates in the new wall:

la petite porte ou poterne, ouvrant sur la basse-cour,

the small (postern) gate which opened onto the lower (or: *outer*) courtyard,

et la grande porte monumentale à avant-porte.

and the great monumental gate in a foregate structure built on the other side of the moat,

Des ponts-levis devaient permettre le franchissement du fossé.

a drawbridge allowing passage over the latter.

This makes sense, both in English and from the drawing, although we can't see the postern in the drawing.

But, if the postern gave onto the courtyard **within the walls**, then it could hardly be in foregate structure --it would have been in the tower on the castle side of the moat.

I now think that "basse-cour" refers to the "outer" courtyard, just inside the first line of walls.

There was a smaller, "inner" courtyard formed by the buildings within, which are built around it.

In this interpretation, we are dealing with a "porte à avant-porte" --a gate in the foregate structure.


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2007-03-15 16:32:52 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Re-reading Miranda's answer, I'm confirmed in my foregate idea --in her example we would have had a fore-door before a main door, both being within the same structure (usually a tower).

But at Blandy we've got a whole seperate structure (the foregate) which formed the "porte à avant-porte".

And, for these structure, "gate" is preferable to "door".

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2007-03-15 16:41:37 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

This aerial view

http://www.linternaute.com/sortir/chateau-france/blandy-les-...

makes it clear that the main gateway in the walls has lost the top of its tower, which is what gives it such a curious appearance.

The foregate structure, which is gone as well, would have been just accross the moat from that main gate.

In this view

http://perso.orange.fr/fou.ailes/IMG_2626.jpg

you can see that this foregate would have been right at the intersection of two roads which approached the village from that side.

Christopher Crockett
Local time: 18:47
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 79
Grading comment
thanks very much to everyone for your help, and especially Christopher for all the effort and research. It is very much appreciated!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
outer door


Explanation:
I think you already have some fabulous and very well-researched answers. Just wanted to make you aware of this GDT definition :

Avant-porte - Outer door
Définition :
Porte extérieure d'un ensemble à double porte

Bon courage - these architectural ones can be very complicated....had one myself a few weeks back.

Example sentence(s):
  • http://www.granddictionnaire.com/btml/fra/r_motclef/index1024_1.asp
French2English
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:47
Native speaker of: English
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