The citadel of Blaye, member of the Network of Major Vauban Sites, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site with the Vauban lock, is a very imposing and superb ensemble.
Built by Vauban, the architect of Louis XIV in 1689, the Citadelle de Blaye dominates the Gironde estuary and today offers a superb example of Vauban's work, with its defence system of half-moons and classical bastions.
The Citadel preserves intact the defence system put in place by Vauban with its ramparts, gates and underground passages as well as the buildings housing a garrison, former convent, prison, barracks, powder magazine...
Today, this former military town is home to shops, restaurants and artists' exhibitions, thus perpetuating the site's ancient charm.
Visitors can stroll around to discover the underground passages, towers and medieval remains.
They can also visit the Estuary Conservatory and the Archaeology Museum, located in the former Citadel prison. The convent and the powder magazine are also open to curious eyes during temporary exhibitions or events. To close the Estuary and be able to cover its entire width with cannon fire, Vauban also had two other forts built.
Fort Paté, on the island of the same name, is located in the centre of the Estuary and can cover both sides of the island with its cannon fire.
Fort Médoc, on the opposite bank, completes to lock the passage to possible enemy boats. The Citadel and the two forts have been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as Vauban Major Sites since 2008.
The Tourist Office offers guided tours for school and adult groups all year round by reservation. It also offers guided tours of the citadel through the underground passages for individuals all year round.
Blaye Tourist Office
Rue des Minimes,
Tel: 05 57 42 12 09