The Fort du Portalet is a fort in the Aspe Valley in French Pyrenees, built from 1842 to 1870. The fort, built by order of Louis Philippe I, guards the border of the Pyrenees and protects access to the Col du Somport. Fort du Portalet is located on a cliff face underneath the Chemin de la Mâture  and overlooks the torrential river Gave d'Aspe. Begun in 1842 and finished in 1870, the fort replaced an earlier structure further north.

Capable of accommodating 400 men, the fort served as depot and barracks for the 18th Regiment of Infantry between 1871 and 1925. It then ceased to be used as a full-time military facility.

During World War II, the Vichy regime arrested and interned Léon Blum, Édouard Daladier, Paul Reynaud, Georges Mandel and Maurice Gamelin as political prisoners at the fort. After the Riom Trials, Reynaud was transferred to German custody and held in Germany. Mandel was taken to Paris, where he was executed in 1944 by the Milice in retaliation for the assassination earlier that year of Philippe Henriot, a Vichy official, by the Resistance. After the war, Philippe Pétain, the head of the Vichy government, was imprisoned in the fort from 15 August to 16 November 1945.

After the government abandoned the fort, it was bought by the local authorities in 1999. They are restoring it.

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E7, Aspe Valley, France
See all sites in Aspe Valley

Details

Founded: 1842
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

guillaume chaulacel (18 months ago)
Chemin de la mature très sympa a faire. Mais assez dangereux une fois en hauteur. La vue est magnifique
Jay S. (18 months ago)
Impossible de le visité sans réservation. Splendide lieu à voir et revoir. Profité d'un arrêt pour en admiré la complexité
Stu Mcd (2 years ago)
Very good value for money, a lot of steps to climb make sure you're fit
Bob Kingdom (2 years ago)
Looks spectacular but it is not open to public
Gary Chow (3 years ago)
Great guide, great value
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