The Citadel of Lille is a pentagonal citadel built between 1667-1670. It is one of the most notable citadels designed by Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, the famous military engineer. It is remarkable for its size, the quality of the architecture, and the state of preservation today.
This 'Queen of Citadels' is the matrix of most citadels designed by Vauban. Established on the border of Flanders, it was part of a double-line of fortified towns between Gravelines, Dunkirk and Maubeuge-Rocroi. It delineated the famous Pré Carré ('square field') conceived by Vauban comprising 28 fortified cities. From Lille, Vauban supervised the construction of the many citadels and canals of the North, which controlled the border between France and Belgium.
Lille was taken from Spain by French troops in August 1667, and Louis XIV immediately ordered the construction of a fortress. Louis Nicolas de Clerville and Vauban proposed plans. Vauban are those which were chosen by the King. Work was started in 1668 under the direction of Lille"s master mason Simon Vollant. In 1671, the citadel was operational while Vauban continued to shape the city by constructing, a few steps away, a new neighborhood around the Rue Royale. The design of the citadel follows a simple but very effective idea: not one of its walls can be approached by the enemy without that being under fire from a nearby wall.
The citadel was constructed to the west of the city on marshland at the junction of the rivers Deûle and Bucquet. This allowed the use of swamp water and mud as a natural defense to make conditions more difficult for any possible enemy besieging the citadel. Through a system of locks and water gates, 1,700 hectares around the citadel could be flooded to a depth of 55 cm. A wide esplanade interrupted the plans, connecting the fort to the city. In 1750, a canal along the esplanade was drilled according to the plans drawn up by Vauban.References:
Craigmillar is one of Scotland’s most perfectly preserved castles. It began as a simple tower-house residence. Gradually, over time, it developed into a complex of structures and spaces, as subsequent owners attempted to improve its comfort and amenity. As a result, there are many nooks and crannies to explore.
The surrounding gardens and parkland were also important. The present-day Craigmillar Castle Park has fascinating reminders of the castle’s days as a rural retreat on the edge of Scotland’s capital city.
At the core lies the original, late-14th-century tower house, among the first of this form of castle built in Scotland. It stands 17m high to the battlements, has walls almost 3m thick, and holds a warren of rooms, including a fine great hall on the first floor.
‘Queen Mary’s Room’, also on the first floor, is where Mary is said to have slept when staying at Craigmillar. However, it is more likely she occupied a multi-roomed apartment elsewhere in the courtyard, probably in the east range.
Sir Simon Preston was a loyal supporter of Queen Mary, whom she appointed as Provost of Edinburgh. In this capacity, he was her host for her first night as a prisoner, at his townhouse in the High Street, on 15 June 1567. She was taken to Lochleven Castle the following day.
The west range was rebuilt after 1660 as a family residence for the Gilmour family.
The 15th-century courtyard wall is well preserved, complete with gunholes shaped like inverted keyholes. Ancillary buildings lie within it, including a private family chapel.