Citadelle du Château d'Oléron
Dates & opening times
Accès libre en permanence
A must-see for anyone visiting the island of Oleron.
Richelieu ordered its construction, which began in 1630 on the remains of the former medieval château. Work was directed by engineer Pierre d'Argencourt, who designed the first bastioned structure, before Louis Nicolas de Clerville modified and enlarged it.
The citadel and town were completed in 1700 under Vauban's orders. During this last phase of work, part of the old town was razed to make way for a new fortified town laid out in a checkerboard pattern around the parade ground.
A fortress with a defensive function, the citadel also housed disciplinary corps, civil and religious internees during the Terror, and political prisoners in 1870.
On April 17, 1945, an aerial bombardment destroyed many parts of the citadel. Between 1959 and 1970, the first restoration work began. The fortress was restored in 1988.
Access to the citadel is free all year round. Numerous guided tours are organized, particularly during the school vacations: educational tours, theatrical evening visits and mini-train rides.
The rooms are home to artists' permanent studios and temporary exhibitions.
Citadelle du Château d'Oléron La Citadelle17480, Le Château-d'OléronFranceItinerary
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