The Middle Ages in France

Published on 30 January 2008
Initially protection against invasions...
View from upstream of the dam


The embankment at Jugon-les-Lacs is a fine example of these multi-purpose structures erected in their thousands in mediaeval France, and which have contributed much to shaping the landscape.

Built from the Xth century onwards, this type of embankment did not generally exceed 10 metres in height. They were equally useful for raising fish, as for providing the energy needed for mill wheels and forge bellows.

8 metres high, the Jugon embankment retains 2.5 million cubic metres of water just above the village that nestles at the foot of it. It was built around 800 years ago to raise fish, ensure the protection of the local castle and power two mills that only stopped working in 1920, as well as a forge in mediaeval times.