What is The Bolt ?


Designed by the famous engineer Sébastien Vauban, the "Bolt of the Estuary" or "Vauban Triptych" is located on the Gironde Estuary, the largest in Europe. It consists of three forts: the Citadel de Blaye, Fort Pâté and Fort Médoc. Well worth discovering as soon as possible…

The origins of the "Bolt of the Estuary"

In the 17th century, Louis XIV asked Vauban to improve the existing fortifications of the Citadel of Blaye in order to protect the city of Bordeaux, located upstream on the banks of the Garonne. Seeing as the range of cannon fire at the time did not extend the full width of the river (3 km), Vauban built two other forts in order to keep enemies from reaching the regional capital. Thanks to Fort Pâté, Fort Médoc and renovated fortifications at the Citadel of Blaye, Vauban created a crossfire that stopped enemy ships from sailing upriver as far as Bordeaux. The "Bolt of the Estuary" was born. Unique in France, the "Bolt of the Estuary" has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 2008. 


Special events, excursions, temporary exhibitions, and tours are organised every year at the Vauban Forts.