Saturday, 8 August 2020

Fort Louvois


Fort Louvois, with the start of the causeway in the foreground 
and the bridge to Ile d'Oléron in the background.
Fort Louvois. Charente-Maritime. france. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

Fort Louvois sits at the entrance to the Marenne Basin, a 'little brother' to the better known Fort Boyard further up the coast. It is between the mainland town of Bourcefranc-le-Chapus and the Ile d'Oléron, at the foot of the modern bridge to the island. At low tide you can walk to it via a causeway, at high tide there is a boat.

Fort Louvois.
fort Louvois. Charente-maritime. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

Fort Louvois is a 17th century maritime fortification, built on a rock submerged at high tide. Its construction, ordered by Louvois, Louis XIV's Minister of War, was carried out from 1691 to 1694 to plans drawn up by Vauban. The objective was to enable cannons to fire across the path of those of the Citadel of Oléron in order to defend the Rochefort naval arsenal. Designed in the shape of a horseshoe, with a central keep protected by a drawbridge and a moat, it is like a mini medieval castle. It is part of a string of fortifications along the coast, from the Gironde to the Charente rivers. Inside the enclosure are six barracks roomswhere the garrison lived, 24-pounder cannons and the powder magazine.

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