Fortifications of Vauban

N47 14 10 E6 1 37
Date of Inscription: 2008
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iv)
Property : 1,153.16 ha
Buffer zone: 4,341 ha
Ref: 1283
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Fortifications of Vauban consists of 12 groups of fortified buildings and sites along the western, northern and eastern borders of France. They represent the finest examples of the work of Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban (1633-1707), a military engineer of King Louis XIV. The serial property includes towns built from scratch by Vauban, citadels, urban bastion walls and bastion towers. There are also mountain forts, sea forts, a mountain battery and two mountain communication structures. This property is inscribed as bearing witness to the peak of classic fortifications, typical of western military architecture. Vauban also played a major role in the history of fortification in Europe and on other continents until the mid-19th century.

The work of Vauban constitutes a major contribution to universal military architecture. It crystallises earlier strategic theories into a rational system of fortifications based on a concrete relationship to territory. It bears witness to the evolution of European fortification in the 17th century and produced models used all over the world up to the mid-19th century, thereby illustrating a significant period of history.

Criterion (i): Vauban’s work bears witness to the peak of classic bastioned fortification, typical of western military architecture of modern times.

Criterion (ii): Vauban played a major role in the history of fortification. The imitation of his standard-models of military buildings in Europe and on the American continent, the dissemination in Russian and Turkish of his theoretical thinking along with the use of the forms of his fortification as a model for fortresses in the Far East, bear witness to the universality of his work.

Criterion (iv): Vauban’s work illustrates a significant period of human history. It is a work of the mind applied to military strategy, architecture and construction, civil engineering, and economic and social organisation.

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