Vue aérienne du site de Mont-Louis
Fortifications of Vauban


A mountain citadel ready for use

Located in the eastern Pyrenees at an altitude of 1600 metres, the stronghold of Mont-Louis was built from scratch by Vauban on granite terrain and is perfectly adapted to the geography of the site.

Work started in 1679 and was completed in two years. The fortified ensemble was added as a complement to Villefranche-de-Conflent in securing the route from the Pyrenees.

This ensemble consists of two square structures, in tiers on the slope: a citadel with orillon bastions and demi-lunes (ravelins) and a new town enclosed in the enceinte.

Although it is rare, all the watch towers and drawbridge gates as well as both churches and wells have been preserved intact since the 17th century. The citadel is still used for military purposes today.

Inscribed Property
the citadel and the fortified enclosure of Mont-Louis
Outstanding Universal Value
fortification of the first system adapted to the mountain, integrating a very beautiful set of military buildings
Date of construction
between 1679 and 1681
5249 ft
GPS coordinates
42.50751, 2.12238
  • L'enceinte de la place forte de Mont-Louis
    The fortified enclosure of the fortress of Mont-Louis
  • La place forte de Mont-Louis
    The stronghold of Mont-Louis
  • L'enceinte de la place forte de Mont-Louis avec, au premier plan, une des nombreuses échauguettes
    The fortified enclosure of the Mont-Louis stronghold with, in the foreground, one of the many watchtowers

Journées européennes du patrimoine

Les 16 & 17 septembre 2023, les douze fortifications de Vauban inscrites sur la Liste du patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO vous proposent de nombreux événements. Découvrez-les vite !

Tourist information

Mont-Louis Tourist Office
6 boulevard Vauban
66210 Mont-Louis
Phone number: +33 4 68 04 21 97

How to visit / Access

The fortress is freely accessible all year round.
For operational and security reasons, the citadel is only accessible during guided tours.