Le Fort Médoc

15 ans Vauban

Let's celebrate the Fortifications of Vauban!

2023 marks the 15th anniversary of the inscription of Vauban's Fortifications on UNESCO's World Heritage List. A unique opportunity to celebrate World Heritage and Vauban's ingenious work, represented by his twelve major sites across France.

A symbolic ceremony, a token of unity and pride

On Friday, July 7, 2023 at 11am, 15 years to the day after their prestigious inscription on UNESCO's World Heritage List, the twelve Vauban Fortifications will celebrate this anniversary with a flag-raising ceremony. Throughout the anniversary year, flags displaying the 15 Year Anniversary emblem will be flying in all four corners of France, symbolizing the pride that the Fortifications de Vauban represent in being part of the World Heritage List, and a sign of their shared commitment to preserving and promoting this exceptional heritage.

Four special themes to celebrate the inscription

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the inscription of the Fortifications of Vauban on the UNESCO World Heritage List means to celebrate their diversity, to acknowledge their Outstanding Universal Value, and to honour the UNESCO values. Through four special themes, the major sites are offering a rich schedule, dedicated to the 15 year anniversary, in order to gather around the UNESCO values.

Discover our press kit (in French only) by clicking here.


  • On July 7, local youngsters born on July 7, 2008 will enjoy an exclusive tour of the Citadel, followed by a cheerful moment around a birthday cake
  • This summer, a temporary exhibition will reveal the reasons for the Citadelle's inclusion on UNESCO's World Heritage List
  • In August, a captivating historical show will immerse visitors in Vauban's era. A living village will add an authentic touch, with re-enactments and crafts of yesteryear.


  • Numerous events, including guided tours by foot or bike, will allow the public to immerse themselves in the world of the city's fortifications.
  • From February to May, the "Renforts" exhibition, featuring 100 black-and-white photographs by Nicolas Waltefaugle, revealed the renovation work carried out on Vauban's monuments.
  • On the weekend of June 24-25, the French "Grand Siècle" weekend gave visitors the opportunity to learn penmanship and fencing...
  • In September, special tours will explore little-known sides of Vauban.
  • Finally, "apéros avec VUE" (aperitifs with a VIEW) will allow visitors to admire the view and the site's Valeur Universelle Exceptionnelle (Outstanding Universal Value) from the Tour de la Pelote or the Citadel, while tasting regional products.
  • And let's not forget some impromptu readings of Vauban's writings in deckchairs.


  • A major popular festival was held on June 17, 2023. It began with an inaugural walk through the various inter-municipal and communal projects, featuring a variety of activities such as tasting sessions and theatrical performances. Towards the end of the day, the popular festival took place at the foot of the Citadel to bring the festivities to a close (but was cancelled due to the storm).


  • On July 7, a festive day, with inaugurations and an aperitif-concert.
  • From July 2023, the Escape Game "Botte secrète à la Vauban" to solve enigmas and investigations.
  • From August 7 to 13, 2023, historical re-enactments (strolls, shows, animations, processions and parades) will immerse the public in the military life of this garrison town, in collaboration with an Italian re-enactment troupe.


  • On July 7, as part of the official flag-raising ceremony, special guided tours will be offered for school groups and officials.
  • On July 29, there will be book-folding and recycling workshops, demonstrations of old crafts and the drawbridge, and guided tours by historians and enthusiasts. The event will climax with two open-air concerts and a night-time opening of the site, with on-site catering planned.


  • For the European Heritage Days, Fort Médoc will be festive: a rich schedule awaits the public, including artistic and participative workshops, guided tours, a treasure hunt, exhibitions, sheepdog demonstrations... The festivities will go on with a dance night, illuminations on the Fort Médoc buildings and a firework.


  • On July 7, Longwy will celebrate the anniversary by raising 15 flags at the town's entrance. An exhibition of photographs of the twelve major Vauban sites and a newly renovated educational trail will be inaugurated.


  • On July 7, after the placement of a UNESCO plaque and the official raising of the 15-year anniversary flag, accompanied by readings of Vauban texts and songs by Eygliers primary school students. a meal will also be shared with the general public. Guided tours of the fortifications, underground passages and military buildings will also be available. In the afternoon, the "Ça va Loin" (it goes a long way) festival will be launched, showcasing women's perspectives on global changes, between performing arts and the environment.


  • On July 7, in addition to the flag-raising ceremony, Mont-Louis and Villefranche-de-Conflent will be hosting an eductour for elected officials and tourism professionals, to promote the richness of these two Pyrenean sites.


  • On June 17, to celebrate the inauguration of the Remp'Arts festival, German and French school pupils exhibited their works of art in the heart of the ramparts. In the evening, a concert closed the festive day.
  • The 15th anniversary celebrations will continue on July 8, with visits of the ramparts (tour of artistic works and exhibition of craftsmen and creators), a concert and a cake tasting.


  • Saint-Martin-de-Ré invites the public to immerse themselves in the French "Grand Siècle" for a weekend: on July 8, entertainment and shows will be offered, with costumed and theatrical skits in the town and an evening show in the gardens of the Ernest Cognacq museum. Finally, a fire parade through the town, followed by a fire show at nightfall.


  • An anniversary with an environmental theme: in early April, the "Et Vole Éole" kite festival took place on Tatihou Island, celebrating both nature and wind on the theme of fortifications.
  • For Vauban's Week (July 3 to 8), children will be creating a collaborative mural using old materials, under the watchful eye of a former female mason from Fort de la Hougue.
  • From July 6 to 9, "Au tour des tours!" (Tower's Turn) tour with equestrian concert, chimeric ballad, tales, songs and crossing of the path linking Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue to Tatihou Island at low tide.


  • On July 7, Mont-Louis and Villefranche-de-Conflent will host an eductour for elected officials and tourism professionals.
  • On July 19, a play will be staged on the ramparts of Villefranche-de-Conflent, telling the fabulous story of the Salt War and the arrival of Vauban to fortify the town. Starting in September, an exhibition of photographs taken by those who visit or live in the town: tourists, locals...