A fortified town

On the tracks of Vauban

The history of our territory is marked by the typical architecture of marquis de Vauban, who is generally considered the greatest engineer of his time. His principles for fortifications were widely used for nearly 100 years, while aspects of his offensive tactics remained in use until the mid-twentieth century.

Gravelines is surrounded by a perfect star-shaped fortification. Walk along the remparts, vaults and bastions, and enjoy the natural environment.

Discover the remparts

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 only fortified French town still surrounded by water

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 embarcadère Vauban promenade (Pier Vauban) offers you to discover this fortress from the moat in a rowing boat, pedal boat or electric boat.

  

Vauban promenade

Rue de Dunkerque – Gravelines

Bus 22 or 23,  Bus stop Léon Jouhaux

+33 (0)3 28 65 33 77


 

April to June and September: Wednesdays, Weekends and holidays – 14h – 18h

July and August: 7/7 – 14h-18h

7 € / 20 €

A pleasant day

“Gravelines is a must see! The boat tour was so nice. A place to visit while you are in the North of France”

 

Hervé. D