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> The Vauban fortifications in France
Fort Pâté

Type: compact artillery tower
Commune: Blaye
Department: Gironde
Region: Aquitaine

History and description
The fort Pâté is a compact tower with an artillery platform, an example of this genre, installed on an isle in the middle of the Gironde estuary. With the citadel of Blaye and the fort Médoc, the fort Pâté allows passage on the water to be cut off via crossfire. It was constructed between 1689 and 1693.
Designed for twenty men, the building is a ring-shaped casemate, equipped with a freshwater cistern, a chapel and a powder keg. It represents a real architectural feat, since the instability of the ground required the fort to be built atop a wooden sill.

Current state
The fort is private property and subject to minimal maintenance. The triptych on the estuary is included on the World Heritage List as part of the fortifications of Vauban. The relief map still exists and is on show at the musée des Invalides in Paris.

Bibliography
COLAS (P.), Blaye, citadelle, boulevard du château, étude préalable, Bordeaux, 1991.
COUTURA (J.), Vauban à Blaye, dans Les cahiers du Vitrezais, Paris, 1983, n°43.
COUTURA (J.), Quelques notes pour servir à l’histoire de la citadelle de Blaye, de Fort Pâté et Fort Médoc, dans Ibid., n°46.
COUTURA (J.), La construction du fort Pâté au milieu de la Gironde (1689-1693), dans Revue archéologique de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, 1991, t. LXXXII.
Dossier de presse, candidature au patrimoine mondial de l’humanité, Cussac-Fort-Médoc, 2005, éd. Mairie de Cussac-Fort-Médoc.
FAUCHERRE (N.), La citadelle de Blaye, dans Congrès archéologique de France, Paris, 1990, 145e session.


Legends (top to bottom) :
  • Fort Pâté map of 1693, in Recueil des plans des places du Royaume, divisé par provinces, faits en l’an 1693 (Collection of maps of spots in the Kingdom, divided by provinces, created in 1693), vol. 2, pl. 54, gallica.bnf.fr / National Library of France.
  • Aerial view of the fort Pâté, Google Earth, 30/07/2010.
UNESCO RSMV