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La Citadelle de Vauban

Neuf-Brisach and its fortifications, a masterpiece of the talented Vauban, are a unique historical testimony, located northeast of the upper Rhine, just before the German border. Classified World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Vauban Citadel is deserving of its title.

An ambitious military defence project

In 1697, as a result of the Treaty of Ryswick, France loses its stronghold on Breisach, located on the German side of the Rhine. This situation generates an embarrassing defensive void against Germany, between the citadels of Huningue and Strasburg. To solve this problem, Louis XIV ordered that the fortified town of Neuf-Brisach, be built opposite its twin sister, the other side of the Rhine. The King entrusts this daring project to his faithful architect, Vauban. Among numerous drafts, the most ambitious is retained, an octagonal stronghold with eight bastion towers. Neuf-Brisach is the last fortified city, entirely built by Vauban and the ultimate conceptualisation of his military architectural achievements. The stronghold is undoubtedly the most sophisticated defence system of its time. Unfortunately, the fortifications of Neuf-Brisach suffered extensive damage during American bombing at the end of the Second World War, however the Citadel has since been restored.