ON VAUBAN'S TRACKS
VISIT THE STAR-SHAPED FORTRESS
The star-shaped fortress of Gravelines stands in a stunning natural environment at the mouth of the River Aa, with one foot in freshwater and the other in the sea.
It's a site of unique beauty, where old stones lie hidden in the undergrowth and nature mingles with history. There are charming landscaped gardens inside the bastions and around the former military buildings; and vegetable gardens along the guard walk, on top of the ramparts. In the outer fortifications, there's a bird sanctuary and a 'Vauban Nature' area... It's safe to say that in the little fortified town of Gravelines, nature takes pride of place!
The original star-shaped fortress remains almost entirely intact, with its bastions reinforced by demi-lunes and counterguards. The whole area inside the magnificent Porte aux Boules is classed as an Historic Monument, and has been undergoing gradual restoration work since the 1980s. The town of Gravelines instigated the restoration of its ramparts and continues to follow a policy of action to promote its military heritage.
A great place to visit on foot, from a boat, or by bike!
The unmissable places
Gravelines’ Belfry, erected in the 19th century, is now inscribed on the World Heritage List. It’s open for the visits only on European Heritage DaysRead more ?
The building of a life-size replica of a ship from Louis XIV's navy, the Jean Bart.Read more ?