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 be flooded at very high tides and has varied in size considerably over the years. To prevent the fort from sinking into the muddy ground a special foundation had to be made.

The engineer François Ferry, advised by Vauban, was responsible for the construction of the fort. He constructed a grid of wooden piling, which rests upon wooden stakes, forming a raft. The fort itself was then built on top of this raft.

A similar wooden grid was laid around the island in order to stabilise it. In around 1705, the fort had sunk about two meters into the mud. Although the lower embrasures'were useless the rest of the fort was still useful. In 1730 the island had to be stabilised again because its size had been reduced considerably by the currents of the river. The technique used to make the foundation for the battery is quite common in the region; Brouage, Fort Chapus and the Corderie Royal in Rochefort all have similar foundations.

References:

Comments

Your name



Address

Cours Bacalan 4, Blaye, France
See all sites in Blaye

Details

Founded: 1693
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

More Information

www.fortified-places.com

Rating

4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mathieu Coquillas (4 years ago)
Mathieu Coquillas (4 years ago)
Raphael Boutin (6 years ago)
Très intéressant
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Trullhalsar Burial Field

Trullhalsar is a very well-preserved and restored burial field dating back to the Roman Iron Ages (0-400 AD) and Vendel period (550-800 AD). There are over 340 different kind of graves like round stones (called judgement rings), ship settings, tumuli and a viking-age picture stone (700 AD).

There are 291 graves of this type within the Trullhalsar burial ground, which occurs there in different sizes from two to eight metres in diameter and heights between 20 and 40 centimetres. Some of them still have a rounded stone in the centre as a so-called grave ball, a special feature of Scandinavian graves from the late Iron and Viking Age.

In addition, there is a ship setting, 26 stone circles and 31 menhirs within the burial ground, which measures about 200 x 150 metres. The stone circles, also called judge's rings, have diameters between four and 15 metres. They consist partly of lying boulders and partly of vertically placed stones. About half of them have a central stone in the centre of the circle.

From 1915 to 1916, many of the graves were archaeologically examined and both graves of men and women were found. The women's graves in particular suggest that the deceased were very wealthy during their lifetime. Jewellery and weapons or food were found, and in some graves even bones of lynxes and bears. Since these animals have never been found in the wild on Gotland, it is assumed that the deceased were given the skins of these animals in their graves.