Belle Ile

Tags: France Fort

Vauban visited Belle Ile for inspection three times, in 1683, 1685 and 1689.

The large scale plans he made for the island during those inspections underline its strategic importance. His plans not only involved the citadel'and the town of Le Palais, he also made a plan for an overall defence of the entire coast, protecting every possible landing place with batteries, entrenched lines and redoubts, turning the whole island into a fortress.

This strategic importance was due to the fact that Belle Ile had a large natural harbour, Le Palais, and held large quantities of drinking water. This made the island a perfect base for resupplying ships, all the more so because it was located about halfway between Brest and Rochefort and close to Lorient, three important 17th century harbours. Access to the south of Brittany was controlled by Belle Ile and its smaller neighbours Houat and Hoedic.

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Author: Jeroen van der Werf

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Keywords: Belle Lle, France, Fortifications, Vauban


Jeroen van der Werf

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