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La Citadelle

Not rated ,  Historic site and monument ,  Fortified structure in Calais

  • After the reconquest of Calais by France in 1558, the concern of the Kings of France was to turn the site into a great fortress. They razed the old medieval castle and the neighbouring dwellings to the ground and, from 1560 onwards, built a vast citadel better adapted to the new techniques of warfare (development of artillery). Vauban had it fitted out and renovated. After a short Spanish passage from 1596 to 1598, the Citadel served as the official residence of the governors until 1636 and...
    After the reconquest of Calais by France in 1558, the concern of the Kings of France was to turn the site into a great fortress. They razed the old medieval castle and the neighbouring dwellings to the ground and, from 1560 onwards, built a vast citadel better adapted to the new techniques of warfare (development of artillery). Vauban had it fitted out and renovated. After a short Spanish passage from 1596 to 1598, the Citadel served as the official residence of the governors until 1636 and would also house a strong garrison for the following centuries. It was the main point of resistance in the city during the German offensive of May 1940, before surrendering after a 36-hour siege. Today it has been transformed into an all-purpose sports stadium, and remains a favourite place for the locals to stroll around, especially near the Porte de Neptune entrance.