Steve Le Clech

La Citadelle de Blaye

La citadelle de Blaye
La Citadelle

The citadel of Blaye is a military complex of 25 hectares built between 1685 and 1689 by the military architect François Ferry, director general of the fortifications of Guyenne, under the supervision of Vauban. It is located in the commune of Blaye, in the north of the Gironde department. It forms a vast fortified complex surrounded by curtains, completed by four bastions and three half-moons.

The interior is designed as a real barracks, centred around a parade ground, a convent that once housed the monks of the Minimes order, and several barracks intended to house the troops. Several elements of the medieval fortifications have been preserved in the new complex, including the Rudel castle, the Liverneuf gate and the Éguillette tower… Designed to control navigation on the estuary, the citadel was completed by Fort Paté, on Ile Paté, and Fort Médoc, located on the opposite bank of the Gironde, the whole ensemble being referred to as the “lock of the estuary”. It was fully classified as a historic monument on 11 May 2009, and is also one of the twelve sites included in the Network of Major Vaubanet Sites, and as such was included on the Unesco World Heritage List on 7 July 2008. Since 20 December 2010, it has been classified as a major site in Aquitaine.