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Old 09-29-2017, 08:44 PM #1271
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Sarthe River Bridge in Saint Céneri le Gérei, France



Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Overlooking the Sarthe river in Northern France, sits the picturesque Village of Saint Céneri le Gérei. The only thing to match the towns beauty is its deep rooted history...

The village was named for a hermit Saint named Serenicus (Céneri) that lived on the river's edge in the 8th century. After crossing the alps in 689 A.D. Ceneri collapsed on a hill overlooking the Sarthe river. Unable to take another step he asked god for a miracle, a spring sprung up from the earth beside him and has been running ever since...



Ceneri Spring in Saint Céneri le Gérei, France



A monastery was built upon Céneri's death in his honor, but was completely destroyed by the Vikings in 903 AD. Some of the monasteries original wall's can still be found in the village, but a much older structure survived the Viking invasion intact.

The oldest structure in Saint Céneri le Gérei dating back to the Merovingians is the old stone bridge crossing the Sarthe river. The fact that it has survived antiquity is a miracle, the secret to how it survived is shocking.

A stone and mortar bridge crossing the river point was constructed by the Merovingians around 500 AD. Upon closer inspection the secret to its longevity is discovered... Hemp!

The bridges stonework is held into place by hemp mortar. With a mixture of more than 10% hemp, the hemp mortar has held the bridge together longer than any other structure in the village. Not to mention its the only structure that has had to withstand the rivers punishing current.



Sarthe River Bridge in Saint Céneri le Gérei, France



The Hempen bridge has withstood viking conquests, multiple world wars, natural disasters and has stood as a sanctuary and landmark for centuries.

If you walk halfway across the bridge, turn your back to the church on the overlooking hill, a small metal nail inserted into the mortar can be found that marks the border of Normandy.



Nail marking Normandy's border on Sarthe bridge



During WW2 the Germans twice tried to destroy the ancient hemp bridge.

On August 6, 1944, day's after the D-Day landings on nearby Normandy beaches, the Germans wired the bridge with charges in fear of the Allied advance. A day later the explosives were removed when it was realized the bridge was the only path of retreat from the quickly moving Allies.

On August 10, the last retreating Germans crossed the old stone Sarthe river bridge. Taking aim with the tanks, the bridge was shelled in haste to slow the Allied attack. The Bridge withstood the tank rounds with little damage...

The following week a group of American engineers repaired the hemp bridge leaving a little hidden memorial for the town. If you lean over the mill side of the bridge, a shell casing from the German tanks was mortared right into the stonework of the bridge, a testament to the strength of Hemp!



Saint Céneri le Gérei, France
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Old 09-30-2017, 08:12 PM #1272
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'Marihuana patch' Detroit News Photograph, Michigan September 1971 (dated '71 but looks earlier?)


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Old 10-01-2017, 11:15 PM #1273
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"Old Woman Hicks Smoking Her Pipe." She is wearing calico dress with blanket around her lower half, her beaded pipe bag is in front of her, leather satchel by her side. Pipe looks to be wrapped with leather or cord. Postcard from 1920's


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Old 10-03-2017, 09:46 PM #1274
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Courtesan Blowing Smoke in Man's Face, by Suzuki Harunobu. Shunga (Japanese erotic art) woodblock print, Edo period 1769–70


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Old 10-04-2017, 11:01 PM #1275
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Old 10-05-2017, 09:55 PM #1276
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Workers called "Garzuler" break the village's hemp crop. Carmagnola, Italy. date unknown (I think around 1910)



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Old 10-06-2017, 02:53 AM #1277
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That looks like something out of a dream !

Reminds me like Strega Nona of Hemp, heh heh.

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Old 10-06-2017, 09:23 PM #1278
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Originally Posted by geneva_sativa View Post

Reminds me like Strega Nona of Hemp, heh heh.


Had to look that one up, spot on
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:30 PM #1279
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Old 10-07-2017, 05:38 AM #1280
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Miner panning for gold with his dog, Alaska, 1916


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