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.

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Details

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

Rating

4.1/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Paul Border (2 years ago)
fort on island - interesting
Isabelle Niclot (2 years ago)
Nice surrounding...must go sailing to really enjoy
Hans Christian Jul Sørensen (3 years ago)
One more star if there was an English speaking guide.
PlainAlexable (4 years ago)
So we get there at the gate. What we have to pay for parking!? What we have to buy a ticket to just get to the Fort!? What we can't buy the tickets there at the location!? So I was bit frustrated and was not the coolest guy to be around. However we were able to purchase the tickets online before the next tour. This is when I started to feel bad for my attitude toward the staff and started enjoying the beautiful scenery of both the location and smiles. Marie the tour guide was the most wonderful and charismatic person. Enthused about Fort de Bregancon she captivated both the crowd and me to the point where I stopped listening and started wondering if she was single.
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