Fort de Brégançon

Bormes-les-Mimosas, France

Perched on a rocky outcrop, this islet had been inhabited since the 2nd century AD. The fortified castle, built in the Merovingian period, and the estate was to have countless occupants before coming under state ownership during the French Revolution.

The fort was built in the 13th century and was used for military purposes for most of its life, belonging to a variety of noble families as they fell in and out of power throughout the centuries. The fort was besieged several times and used as a place to escape; Queen Jeanne Ire stayed in 1348 after fleeing Naples, which had been invaded by her cousin – she used it as a pit-stop on her way to taking refuge in Marseille. The fort wasn’t badly affected by the French Revolution, although a few items were plundered by locals.

Napoleon took a liking to the fort and stayed here during the winter of 1793-94. When he became Emperor, he supplied funds to build up the garrison. After the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, the War Ministry allocated money to build an artillery, although they didn’t do much to the outside of the main structure, which was slowly falling into disrepair. It was occupied by a small garrison during World War I until it was finally decommissioned in 1919.

In 1968, General de Gaulle transformed it into one of the official residences of the President of the Republic. The monument houses numerous gifts received by heads of state during France's Fifth Republic.

The Fort de Brégançon served as the official retreat of the President of France until 2013.



Your name


Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Late Capetians (France)


4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Sandra de Souza (17 months ago)
This was a fabulous outing, and I have recommended it to another international group. My only gripe is that there were was a lot of information that included numbers and years, but it was fine for the most part. I did learn some new words e.g. "double tomber l'eau"...I think that is the spelling. Maybe a leaflet with key dates for visitors or give the main website for information so non French speakers (or even French speakers) can read before their trip. It was an all round superb visit.
BAV Wellbeing (17 months ago)
'Having read up on the Forts history beforehand the guided visit met up fully with the expectations and I have personally received comments as the well-being organiser that it was a very informative and enjoyable tour. The majority of the BAV members that live in France have a knowledge of the French language which is why this highly recommended visit was proposed to its members. A big thank you goes to all concerned for accepting us as your first visitors of 2023 '
Bav Chairman (17 months ago)
As President of the British Association of the VAR I confirm that the tour arranged by us was well received by the majority of the 20 in the group. You always get one.Perhaps not a Swedish expression We expected the tour to be in French in such a historic place. The guide was excellent. I encourage our members to integrate as much as possible we are after all in France. We plan another trip next winter
jean-luc Mateesco (4 years ago)
Michael Kloppe (5 years ago)
Sadly not open for public when we where there, but a nice area, worth a short trip when you r in the area!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Topography of Terror

The Topography of Terror (Topographie des Terrors) is an outdoor and indoor history museum. It is located on Niederkirchnerstrasse, formerly Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse, on the site of buildings which during the Nazi regime from 1933 to 1945 were the headquarters of the Gestapo and the SS, the principal instruments of repression during the Nazi era.

The buildings that housed the Gestapo and SS headquarters were largely destroyed by Allied bombing during early 1945 and the ruins demolished after the war. The boundary between the American and Soviet zones of occupation in Berlin ran along the Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse, so the street soon became a fortified boundary, and the Berlin Wall ran along the south side of the street, renamed Niederkirchnerstrasse, from 1961 to 1989. The wall here was never demolished.