Top Historic Sights in Blaye, France

Explore the historic highlights of Blaye

Blaye Citadel

The fortified citadel at Blaye, standing on the opposite bank of the river Gironde to Fort Médoc, forms, along with Fort Paté, the region's 17th-century defence against river attack. Built by Vauban, together this group are named the Fortifications of Vauban and are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site of the citadel saw its first castle in the 7th century. Vauban's fortress though was built ...
Founded: 1689-1692 | Location: Blaye, France

Château des Rudel

Château des Rudel was built in the 12th century and is now ruins. It is located inside the Vauban citadel of Blaye. It is a relic of the medieval era preserved during the construction of the citadel of Blaye in the 17th century. The chateau was besieged by Protestants during the French Wars or Religion in the 16th century.  
Founded: 12th century | Location: Blaye, France

Basilica of Saint-Romain

The Basilica of Saint-Romain in Blaye was an important Merovingian basilica, the resting-place of Charibert II, a son of Clotaire II who was briefly king of Aquitaine from 629 to his death in 632, and of his son. According to the 12th-century Chanson de Roland contained the body and relics of the Carolingian folk-hero Roland, who was a seigneur of Blaye in the eighth century. The nominal patron of the basilica, belonging ...
Founded: 7th century AD | Location: Blaye, France

Fort Paté

Fort Paté is a small oval battery on an island in the middle of the river Gironde, just big enough to hold the soldiers who defend it. It was built between 1685 and 1693 as part of the verrou de Blaye, a system of three forts built to seal the river against enemy ships. The fort was situated so as to support the river batteries at Blaye on the right bank and Fort Médoc on the left bank. The island used to b ...
Founded: 1693 | Location: Blaye, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Caerleon Roman Amphitheatre

Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.

Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.

Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.