Fort de Bellegarde

Le Perthus, France

Le Perthus became French territory after the Treaty of the Pyrenees (1659). The Spanish captured Bellegarde in 1674 and began work on new fortifications in 1675. These were not very far advanced when the place was recaptured by the French. In 1678 Vauban designed for Bellegarde a strong pentagonal fort with a detached hornwork extending southwards towards the frontier.

The defences consist of a five bastioned trace, with an upper tier and a lower tier. In front of the more vulnerable sections of wall, there is a ditch. There are three demi-lunes, again only on the more approachable sides of the fortress - on the east there is a sheer precipice.

During the War of the Pyrenees, the fortress was besieged in May - June 1793 by the Spanish and then by the French (in 1794).

During World War II, the fort was used as a holding prison by the Gestapo for escaped prisoners of war and enemy agents.

The fort is open to the public between June and September only and includes exhibits on the history of the fort, its archaeology and the surrounding area.



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Founded: 1675
Category: Castles and fortifications in France


4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Evgeny Ermilov (graffx) (7 months ago)
Still closed, but excellent views anyway.
Simon Hawkes (2 years ago)
Enjoyed the location & Fort, plenty of free parking at the Fort top of hill. Interesting site to visit, although closed at the time you can walk the whole perimeter of the structure. Superb vista's in all directions.
Philip Varley (3 years ago)
Closed! But a beautiful & dramatic location
Bert Draye (3 years ago)
We visited the Fort Bellegarde end of June and end of covid. So we were there literally alone... Correction, us two lamas and a donkey ? Beautiful setting to camp for a night. We could not enter the Fort itself but the surroundings and outside views are amazing. Recommended if you are passing by. Not sure if it would be worth the detour though.
lukepro3 (5 years ago)
Cool place, watchout in the argelogic place dangerous buildings.
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