Citadel (suit)

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Construction : third period ( 1636-1637 )


click for enlarging the plan


On March 21st 1638, Cardinal de Richelieu was warned by several people that the fortress of Port Louis,
"was not finishe" and "was very easy to take".

The front edge was insufficiently defended.

In December, Richelieu sent trustworthy engineer Destouches to see and consider exactly what to do to complete the fortification. The Cardinal decided to change the government in Port Louis.

bastions 8 et 9Richelieu called for his cousin Charles II de La Meilleraye, Grand Master of the Artillery, La Meilleraye did not lose any time and on March 24th, his marriage with the elder daughter of François de Cossé-Brissac was fixed, and on July 15th, his prosecutor, Antoine de La Porte de La Meilleraye, another cousin of the Cardinal, established the listing of provisions and ammunitions in the citadel, in the name of the Grand Master of Artillery who became the Governor.

bastion st nicholas
Works included the erection of the half-moon, the bridge and the ditches, the counter-scarp, the covered passage and the glacis.

Bastion Saint-Nicolas was completed in 1641-1642, by Nicolas Gilles, a contractor of fortifications, and was named after him.



NOTE: The primitive bartizans1 were rebuilt in the XVIIIth century. They were quite destroyed by the german during the war 1939-1945, but the culs-de-lampes (except that of Groix bastion) are part of the primitive construction. Those of the bastions Desmouriers ( 1716 ), La Brèche (1704 ), L'Irrégulier (1744), and the Chambres (1744 ) are polygonal, those of the Great Bastion, of Groix and of the Demi-lune are circular. In 1958-1959, all the sentry-boxes were restored with the greatest care, by René Lisch, chief architect of Heritage Monuments.



Today the citadel houses the India Company Museum



1 bartizan : a watchtower set at a corner edge of a fortified wall.

last modification : 05 26 2005