Friday, September 9, 2011

Remarkable Forts for Tourist Destinations in France

France is the most visited country in the world. The country contains many historic and beautiful tourist destinations. Here are some of the most historic forts in France.

1.) Citadel of Besancon

The Citadel of Besancon in located in France-Comte, France. This historic fortress, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, occupies 11 hectares on Mount Saint-Etienne. This well preserved fortification is an important tourist site receiving more than a quarter of a million visitors annually due both to its own characteristics and because it is the site of several museums. There is a zoo, an insectarium, an aquarium, vivariums, a noctarium, a climatorium, a pedagogical exhibit on evolution, botanical gardens, and a children's farm in the site. There is also a restaurant and shops.

2.) Bastille

The Bastille is a fort constructed on a hill 476 meters above sea level overlooking the city of Grenoble, France. It is the main tourist site of the Grenoble area receiving about 600,000 visitors every year.

3.) Fort de Tournoux

The Fort de Tournoux is located in Uvabe Valley in the French Alps. This fortification complex was built between 1843 and the early 20th century to defend France against invasion from Savoy and Italy. It was described as the "Military Versailles of the 19th century," resembling a Tibetan monastery on the mountainside above the Ubaye.

4.) Fort Rapp

Fort Rapp is a fortifications located in Reochstett, Strasbourg. It was built between 1872 and 1874. This fort has 200 rooms and was able to host a garrison of 800 men. It was protected by 18 cannons of 90-150mm. The site is open for tourist visits on weekends from mid April to late September.

5.) Fort Saint-Jean

Fort Saint-Jean is located in Marseilles. It was built in 1660 at the entrance to the Old Port. The fort was built in response to a local uprising against the governor, rather than for the defense of the city: their cannons pointed inwards towards the town, not outwards towards the sea.

6.) Fort de Joux

The Fort de Joux is located in La Cluse-et-Mijoux in the Doubs department in the Jura Mountains of France. It is originally a castle transformed into a fort. It served as a prison for successive French governments between the 17th and 19th centuries. In this capacity, Fort-de-Joux is best known for serving as the site of imprisonment for Toussaint Louverture, who died there in 1803.

Presently, the fortress houses a museum of arms which exhibits more than "six hundred rare weapons" dating from the early 18th to the 20th centuries, including a rare 1717 rifle. The castle also has a well which, at 120 meters, is one of the deepest in Europe. It is also known as Château de Joux.

7.) Fort l'Écluse

Fort l'Écluse is located up high near the Collonges Vllage in Ain, France. Presently, the fort is open during the summer months for visiting, and it is possible to use the subterranean staircase with 1,000 steps.. In addition, there are many hiking trails in the area which allow hikers.

8.) Fort Carre

Fort Carre is a magnificent 16th century fort located on the outskirts of Antibes, France. The fort is notable as the location of some of the scenes of James Bond film – Never Say Never Again.

9.) Fort Boyard

Fort Boyard is located in the Pertuis d’Antioche straits, on the west coast of France. This fort is 61 meters in length, 31 meters in width and with walls 20 meters high. This unique fort is completely surrounded by water.

10.) Tour Royale

The Tour Royale is 16th century fort built to protect the entrance of the Petit Rade, the naval port of Toulon. The fort’s tower was sixty meters in diameter and seven meters thick. Construction began in 1514 and was finished in 1524. Because of its impressive size, the residents of Toulon called it "La Grosse Tour."

11.) Fort Enet

Fort Enet is located in the Pertuis d’Antioche in Charente-Maritime, France. This fortification can be accessed at low tide on foot and can be visited. Construction of Fort Enet was started in 1810 by Napoleon I, following the devastating 1809 Battle of the Basque Roads.

12.) Fort de Bellegarde

The Fort de Bellegarde is located above the town of La Perthus, in the Pyrenees-Orientales department, France. This 17th century fortification is open to the public between June and September only and includes exhibits on the history of the fort, its archaeology and the surrounding area.

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