If you plan to visit Bordeaux (and why wouldn’t you, the wine alone!), Vauban’s fortifications on both sides of the Gironde River is an interesting day out.
Once an orphan living in poverty, later an engineering genius with a prestigious career. A familiar story, perhaps. Yet that doesn’t diminish its power to inspire.
That is also the story of Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban: military engineer, advisor to Roi Soleil Louis XIV, France’s most famous king, and most importantly for this little piece, builder of forts, 12 of which have found their place on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites.
I’ve written about military architecture before. To my surprise, I’m finding it all sorts of interesting.
In Aquitaine in southwestern France, the kids and I visited the Citadel of Blaye and Fort Médoc, two of Vauban’s constructions.