On 7 July 2022, the anniversary of the inclusion of Vauban's fortifications on the Unesco World Heritage List, the sixth stage of the Tour de France will honour the stronghold of Longwy, which will host the arrival of the cyclists.
Located in the north of the Lorraine plain, the town of Longwy is an exceptional heritage site, which has led to it being selected from among 160 sites fortified by Vauban in France to be included on the UNESCO World Heritage List (2008) as one of Vauban's Fortifications.
The exceptional character of the site of Longwy, one of Vauban's ten new towns, is based on a unique built heritage. Despite repeated destruction, Longwy has retained a large part of its fortified perimeter and several military buildings, including the famous siege well, forming an ensemble of rare consistency.
Combining adaptation to the terrain and the principles of regularity, Vauban achieved a tour de force in Longwy, while demonstrating true urbanist thinking. The layout of the enclosure is adapted to the dangers of the surrounding landscape and the orientation of the street grid is defined by an observation of the prevailing winds.
Longwy is a heritage jewel that has been preserved and highlighted. Guided tours, exhibitions and cultural events now punctuate the life of the site. These varied activities, aimed at all publics, contribute to the appropriation of World Heritage values by both inhabitants and visitors.
A new town on the plain
When Longwy-Haut became French under the 1679 Nimeque Treaty, Louis XIV decided to destroy the old medieval town and replace it with a «new town» to form a major defensive link on the north-eastern border.