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Monday, 20 August 2012

UNESCO Vauban List : Bazoches and Le Palais

This is my last translation for the UNESCO Vauban list. There are twelve fortresses on the list plus the following two additional  buildings,

  1. Bazoches, Vauban's home in Burgundy;
  2. Le Palais, on Belle Ile, off the Brittany coast, a fortress complex that is now a hotel.

Each listing has a Historical Description in French. These are my translations of those descriptions.


The chateau was acquired by Vauban in 1675 and converted by him to live there with his family and to work there with his engineers. It is the property of his descendants. Vauban built there, notably the West Wing with its grand gallery, and the outbuildings. After 1830, several projects of restoration and transformation work took place, the building of the grand entrance, the bathing facilities, complete new furniture. At the end of the 20th century, the LeNotre inspired gardens were the subject of some conservation projects.


The citadel has known a turbulent history, from the foundation of a priory to the construction of a fort during the Renaissance, to become a strategic position on an island rich in calm water and advantageous for docking. From 1658 to 1661, Superintendent of Finances Nicolas Fouquet built a redoubtable fortress, with casemates and a powder magazine. Vauban visited three times between 1685 and 1689. He put the finishing touches to a complete defence system for the town and the island, although only the works on the citadel were completed, including regularisation of the sea front, the envelope (continuous outer enceinte) and the covered way. The interior buildings were constructed before 1680, the place of arms was built following the destruction of the siege of 1761. From the Vauban era, the remains of the Officers' Quarters built around 1680 and the Grand Quartier barracks, constructed around 1689. A powder magazine  was added in 1856. The tops of the ramparts were modified with important terracing. At the end of the 19th century, the place progressively lost its importance. It was declassified and sold in 1960. The exemplary restoration from 1960 was the work of Mr and Mrs A. Larquetoux. From 31st March 2005 the property is now owned by Les Hotels Particuliers who have maintained the same high standards.

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