Fort Carré is a 16th-century star-shaped fort of four arrow-head shaped bastions, that stands on the outskirts of Antibes.

The Romans probably built the first fortifications at Antibes. In 1553, a tower called la tour Saint-Florent was built around a pre-existing chapel. Henry III had four bastions added in 1565, whereupon it became Fort Carré (the squared fort).

In the 1680s, Vauban strengthened Fort Carré, adding traverses to protect against ricochet fire and exchanging the stone parapets, which were liable to scatter deadly splinters when hit by shot, for brick ones. Vauban also enlarged the embrasures and added outer walls to the fortification.

Later, the fort's design was modified to take eighteen cannon. The entrance to the fort is through a triangular work that protrudes from the walls, and which is loopholed and pierced by a heavy wooden door. From here, there is a narrow bridge that leads into the fort itself via the flank of one of the arrow-headed bastions. Inside, there are barrack buildings for officers and men as well as the ancient chapel, which has been preserved through the successive stages of military development of the site.

In addition to improving the defences of Fort Carré, Vauban fortified Antibes itself, adding a land front of four arrow-headed bastions around the town, as well as seaward fortifications, including a bastion on the breakwater closing the harbor.

During the French Revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte was briefly imprisoned here. In July 1794, after the violent overthrow of Robespierre, General Bonaparte was detained as a Jacobin sympathizer and held in Fort Carré for ten days. His friend and political ally, Antoine Christophe Saliceti, secured his release. Then in 1860, the fort played an important role when France annexed Nice.

Today Fort Carré is open to the public.

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Founded: 1565
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

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User Reviews

Chuma Nwafor (2 years ago)
A gentle gradient climb to the Fort. There are Nice friendly tour guides in a couple of languages . Quite informative nice interactive tour around the Fort. With good views of the Port Vauban and Antbes at the top. Recommended if visiting Cote d azur
Francesco Cerlini (2 years ago)
This ancient fort is star shaped. Le Fort Carré is a nice visit. From the top you will have also a nice view over the bay of Antibes and panoramic views direction Nice and the mountains
Dj Fil (2 years ago)
Should invest in training better their guides. Despite so it is a nice place for pictures, and cheap to visit. Seems well maintained.
Tris Revill (2 years ago)
Excellent spot for a great view of the bay and the town of Antibes. The fort is surrounded by a great park full of local flaura and fauna and is definitely worth a visit on a less warm day in the area.
Royston Shufflebotham (3 years ago)
Great place to visit. €3 per adult gets you entrance and a very interesting guided tour of the place, which takes about 30 minutes. You may need to wait a little while for the next tour to start and whilst there are a few locations you can look around whilst waiting, do be prepared to wait once you've exhausted those. Note that you *have* to take a tour to go around the vast majority of the fort: you can't just wander round unaccompanied. Guided tour was delivered in both French and English (after the guide checked who spoke what) and was excellent. The fort itself has a lot of interesting history, and the views from the top, of Antibes, Nice, and - on a clear day - Italy, are well worth the trek up the hill. Be sure to take water if it's a hot day: you may be there an hour, and it's exposed.
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