Privileged observatory on the Gironde estuary, the citadel of Blaye is one of the elements of the triptych (the lock) imagined by Vauban at the end of the XNUMXth century, to ensure the security of Bordeaux. She fascinates us, and we bet she will do the same with you.
Say, tell me the story of the citadel of Blaye
The citadel was built on the site of a first castle: enlarged over the centuries, fortified, a great wall surrounds the nearby village.
The Bell, Discharge and Eguilette towers remain from this period, as well as the Liverneuf gate, which have been integrated into the modern works.
Vauban, General Commissioner of Fortifications since 1678, sent by Louvois, Minister of War, went to Blaye and found the place "fort in rags". Considering the geographical position of the site, he saw the need to master the river and presented Louis XIV with two projects for the reconstruction of the citadel. This colossal undertaking was carried out between 1686 and 1689 and the expenditure amounted to more than one million pounds. The vast military complex then covers 38 hectares. It is the key element of the "military lock" formed on the river with Fort-Pâté and Fort-Medoc. A radical transformation of the fortified perimeter is planned. The Royal Gate is the main entrance to the citadel, which is accessed by two bridges (framed or fixed) and two drawbridges. The Porte Dauphine, to the south, has the same defense system as the previous one. In the Powder Magazine, the powder is stored in barrels piled up in three rows. Nearby stretches the district of the barracks made up of small low houses originally embellished with small gardens.
The King's lieutenant lives in the Place pavilion.
The Duchess of Berry was imprisoned there from 1832 to 1833.
Nearby, the Place d'Armes is used for taking up arms and reviewing the troops. The impressive device of the citadel of Vauban contains within it earlier monuments. Note the ruins of the medieval Rudel castle where the famous troubadour, Jaufré Rudel, “Prince of Blaye” was born. Added to this are the chapel, the convent buildings, the cloister of the Minimes built at the beginning of the 1677th century and the Manutention building, built in XNUMX to serve as a civil and military prison. The glacis of the citadel preserves the remains of the old Saint-Romain church, where the Emperor Charlemagne came to carry the remains of his nephew Roland. The citadel of Blaye is the ideal place for a family outing. Do not miss the visit to the underground passages, to discover its entrails. And for those who want to prolong the pleasure and take advantage of this extraordinary site, you can eat there and even spend the night there!
The citadel of Blaye UNESCO
Classified as a Historic Monument, the citadel and the lock of the estuary are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List under the Fortifications of Vauban.
To see, to do, near the citadel of Blaye
The Gallo-Roman Villa of Plassac
La Gallo-Roman villa of Plassac, it is a set of buildings built between the 1st and 3th centuries AD. Classified as a Historic Monument, the site is remarkable because of the state of conservation of its rich mosaics. The museum presents the collection of multiple objects from the excavations as well as a XNUMXD reconstruction of the villa.