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The Vauban Fortresses

The Vauban Fortresses

The stronghold of Villefranche-de-Conflent and the citadel of Mont-Louis in the Pyrénées are among twelve Vauban fortified sites classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The medieval town of Villefranche-de-Conflent was founded in 1090 by the Count of Cerdagne in the hollow of the Tet Valley.

It is ranked among the most beautiful villages in France.

The original enclosure, some of which still remains, was rebuilt in the fourteenth century by the King of Aragon and finished by Vauban in the seventeenth century.

The Mont-Louis citadel, close to Font-Romeu, was built ‘out of nothing’ to secure the new border with Spain after the signing of the Pyrénées Treaty in 1659.

Vauban created this stronghold to honour Louis XIV. A true feat of technology and ingenuity, it was built in just two years, from 1679-1681, by 2,000 men.

The highest fortified town in France at 1600 metres, Mont-Louis is located at the strategic crossroads of three valleys (those of the Têt, the Aude and the Cerdagne).

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