14th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers on

The Courtrai Chest

The sortie of the French garrison of Courtrai


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The sortie of the Courtrai garrison. A French garrison was trapped inside the castle of Courtrai and tried to force a way out during the battle. They were stopped by the town militia of Ypres. On the right hand tower the French flag is flying. Inside we observe a trebuchet. Three soldiers of Ypres are carrying falchions which shows that it was a very popular weapon. Also here we observe a buckler. This picture clearly shows that uniforms were worn. The Ypres town militia is known to have guarded the castle and they wear tunics bearing a Lorraine cross, the communal arms of the town of Ypres. To the far left is a big shield (pavise) used during sieges, with two crossbow bolts sticking in it. A woman is lowered by a rope from the left tower, while a soldier is watching through a window. Above the main entrance a barrel is suspended for an unknown reason, perhaps to let it fall on possible intruders.

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