Aux Puces Tower
Aux Puces Tower, locally known as Tour aux Puces, lies in the center of the city of Thionville in the Moselle department in the Lorraine region in France.
Aux Puces Tower is a remnant of the former medieval Castle of the Counts, who were also Dukes of Luxembourg. It probably served as its keep. Its construction is estimated at around the late 11th or 12th century. The first mention of a 'house' of the Dukes here was in 1239.
In 1531 the castle was razed because of the advance of firearms. In 1583 the interior of Aux Puces Tower was restructured and it became a artillery magazine.
In 1733 part of the tower became a military prison for unruly prisoners. At that time there was also an annex connected to the tower, which has now disappeared. It also continued to serve as an artillery magazine until the beginning of the 20th century.
In 1905, when Thionville was part of the German Empire, the tower was restored. In 1918 Thionville became French again. During World War II Aux Puces Tower was requisitioned for use by the German Wehrmacht.
The name Tour Aux Puces translates to The Flea Tower. There is a story that an unnamed 14-year old princess was locked up in its dungeon. She was then devoured by thousands of ferocious fleas until nothing was left of her but her hair and teeth.
At present Aux Puces Tower is a museum about the history of Thionville. It can be visited for a fee. Sadly enough it was closed when I visited.