Citadelle de Vauban à Gravelines

The city has great strategic importance and, in 1680, during his stay in Gravelines, Louis XIV commissioned Vauban to draw up a final plan whose implementation will take several decades. Appointed governor in 1706, Vauban complement the external defense of the city in his “Pré Carré” with a set of half-moons, counterscarps and glazes, as well as a lock on the Aa.

Under Louis XV, a canal project, designed by the Spanish King Philip IV, was completed between 1736 and 1740. Then from 1761 to 1852 four new dams create new polders. In 1871, the lock is reconstructed Vauban, it creates a tidal basin, are established along the Aa docks framing, one of those falls dry harbor and Petit Fort Philippe. By following the commissioning of the Bassin Vauban, the movement of the port tends to develop.

A possible hiking trail in the citadel

Circuit Vauban aux Islandais – Gravelines
The route of the circuit = 13 km – 3h30

Departure: parking of the Arsenal, near the site of the Belfry

Trail produced with the help of the Tourist Office of Banks of the Aa, of the town of Gravelines and the Departmental Committee of the Hike

1 – Take the small street leading down to the streets of Calais. Turn left and then right into rue Vanderghote.

2 – Arriving on the church square, turn right in front Cistern (1724), the street of Tranquility. On the right are the Uxelles barracks which eventually will house the Museum of Drawing and Printmaking. Step onto the walkway and walk along the grassy slope to the left. Descend right at the foot of the slope. Take the stairs down and then right again. Make the top of the tower bastion. View of the fortifications.

3 – At the break, continue to face the privet hedge and continue right on the ramparts by the marked route then head down instead of the Esplanade. Note the guard.

4 – Turn right into the rue Denis Cordonnier then right onto rue de Dunkerque.

5 – Cross the bridge, cross left (crosswalk) and get off before the guardhouse, to the sailing. Bypass the launch plan, go to the dock and take the stairs up to the gate. After passing the gate, bear right and find the Rue de Dunkerque. Go to the Porte aux Boules by the paved driveway. Réempruntez Street Dunkirk and go right by the path along the ramparts. Follow the marked route to the Blum Street.

6 – Turn left and then right at the corner of the Tourist Office, Republic Street. Cross the place Charles Valentin.

7 – Step into the Arsenal. Head to the Sculpture Garden, bypass by Vauban left the room and return to the parking lot of the Arsenal


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