Fort de Charlemont

Givet, France

The Fortress of Charlemont (Fort de Charlemont) is a French stronghold located near the Belgian border on the Meuse. It is a citadel, surrounded by a network of outworks, including the connecting forts (Givet and the Mont d'Hours). It dominates the town of Givet and when in use as a working fortress controlled the valley of the Meuse.

In 1554, Henrik II of France sent in his troops against the Spanish Netherlands. Agimont castle was captured, and Givet and its region were devastated. As these conquests compromised the security of the Ardenne borders, Holy Roman Empire Charles V resolved to protect them by building new strongholds, that of Charlemont at Givet and that of Philippeville at Echerennes. From 1555, building of the fort began. 20000 infantrymen, 3000 cavaliers and numerous labourers were put to work. The fortress was established around an old, unfinished 15th-century castle, located on the heights of the Eastern point.

Later stronghold was then coveted and besieged by all the reigns of Europe until 1914. It never surrendered. Today, it is the tourist who climbs to attack the citadel, who is an essential witness to history.


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Sous Charlemont 1, Givet, France
See all sites in Givet


Founded: 1555
Category: Castles and fortifications in France


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nguyen Nguyen (2 years ago)
The fort is pretty cool to see. It’s a ghost town with old, abandoned buildings. When you park, to the right of the parking lot is a gorgeous view of the river. It was confusing on where anything was since there were no signs or people. We were there on a Saturday afternoon and there wasn’t a soul in sight. We just walked around and explored. There was a lady in a small shack towards the end of the row of old buildings but we didn’t venture all the way out there. We didn’t have to pay anything to walk around since there was no staff around. There is a small snack shop right when you cross the entrance bridge but you can’t park there unless you have a handicap sticker so you have to walk all the way there and back to the parking lot. It was too tiring in the hot sun or we would’ve gotten an ice cream or souvenir. I do not recommend walking up to the fort from town since it’s all uphill and quite a ways from the street.
Ben Mendes (2 years ago)
Disappointed : the view was great but activities were quite boring...
Christian Sigrist (2 years ago)
Drove 200 km and the gate was closed. Nothing mentioned on the internet nor on the bureau of tourism.. Pathetic
bill dany (3 years ago)
The Best citadel in Benelux
D B (3 years ago)
Nice place, in winter time it is like ghost place.
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Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg

The Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg is situated in a strategic area on a rocky spur overlooking the Upper Rhine Plain, it was used by successive powers from the Middle Ages until the Thirty Years' War when it was abandoned. From 1900 to 1908 it was rebuilt at the behest of the German kaiser Wilhelm II. Today it is a major tourist site, attracting more than 500,000 visitors a year.

The first records of a castle built by the Hohenstaufens date back to 1147. The fortress changed its name to Koenigsburg (royal castle) around 1157. The castle was handed over to the Tiersteins by the Habsburgs following its destruction in 1462. They rebuilt and enlarged it, installing a defensive system designed to withstand artillery fire.

The fortification work accomplished over the 15th century did not suffice to keep the Swedish artillery at bay during the Thirty Years War, and the defences were overrun.