The Citadel of Blaye

Images en cours de chargement
The bastion Saint Romain |Photo Philippe JackThe Citadel of Blaye|The Citadel of Blaye|Photo Philippe JackThe ruins of the castle of Rudel in the Citadel|The Citadel of Blaye overlooking the estuary of the Gironde|Porte Dauphine (1689)|

The Citadel of Blaye

Located on a rocky promontory, Blaye Citadel dominates the Gironde estuary. It is classified by Unesco on the World Heritage list. It was built by Vauban between 1686 and 1689 to protect Bordeaux by closing the estuary to enemies, English or Dutch vessels, the Citadel has a perfectly preserved defence and useful to the garrison buildings system.

The Interior is designed as a true city closed around a place of weapons, a convent once sheltering a religious of the order of the minims, and several barracks. Several elements of the medieval fortifications are included in the new set, among which Castle (12th century) Rudel, the door of Liverneuf (13th century) or the Tower of L'eguillette (15th century).

Brief summary of history

The work of the Citadel of Blaye are supervised by Marshal Vauban, the making of the work being entrusted to the military engineer François Ferry. The structural work, begun in 1685, was completed in 1689. Work continues however to the beginning of the 18th century.

Under the first Empire, the Citadel covers all its strategic importance, while the British warships regularly cross in off the coast of Aquitaine and weekly. In 1851, the State of Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte coup led sporadic revolts in several regions of the Southwest. Dozens of insurgents were imprisoned in the basement of the hospital, converted into makeshift dungeons.


Each bastion is designed so that it can if necessary be protected by Crossfire from the collateral bastions, typical organization of the achievements of Vauban. The Interior of the fortress form a real 'city-close' built around place d'armes.

  • The Rudel Castle. The former Castle of the Lords of Blaye (12th century) is integrated into the Citadel by Vauban.
  • The door Royal carried out in 1685, it is one of the two access to the Citadel. The sophistication of its defense system makes it one of the major achievements of Vauban: two bridges-sleepers, a half-moon, a pepper shaker, and a vestibule of ovoid helmed by two drawbridges were designed to protect the door of any enemy ambitions.
  • The door Dauphine is with the Royal door one of the two access to the stronghold. Built in 1689, it is preceded by a sleeping deck and a half-moon, which voluntarily offset entry is designed to avoid exposure to gunfire beads.
  • The couvent des Minimes is a monastic complex erected during the reign of King Henri IV to provide a place of worship for the garrison established in the former stronghold.
  • Seat hospital dates from 1739. It is based on three levels, it includes a basement divided into casemates, care on the ground floor bathroom and a second bathroom to the first floor.
  • The door of Liverneuf is one of the ancient medieval gates to the old upper town of Blaye, destroyed in the 17th century to give way to the Citadel.

Useful information :

Address :
The Citadel,33390 Blaye
Tel :
+ 33 (0) 5 57 42 12 09

Prices :
Free admission.

Opening hours :
The Citadel is open all year round, every day.

Good to know :
Guided tours of the Citadel by the underground are organized daily for the individual. Price: €5,50 adults

Free of charge. Guided tour.

Where to stay:

All accommodation