History and description

A town of ancient origins, Port-Vendres became an important port of the Kingdom of Majorca in the 18th century and became French in 1659 with the treaty of the Pyrenees. However, the proximity of Collioure was not enough to spark significant construction there. In the 1660s, the Knight of Clerville proposed the construction of an important port arsenal there, but the project was abandoned.
In 1679, Vauban visited Collioure and Port-Vendres. He set out a military port project linked to a significant urban planning project: razing Collioure and relocating its population to Port-Vendres. This project also came to nothing. The engineer Rousselot got no further than completing minor fortifications in 1693. Three redoubts ensured the defence of the port: the redoubts of Fanal, the Béar and the peninsula.
It was not until the 1780s, under Louis XVI, that the Count of Mailly, Lieutenant-General of Roussillon, completed Vauban’s town-planning project. A significant district was established with, as the focal point, an obelisk to glorify Louis XVI. A horseshoe-shaped barracks was also constructed. Between 1870 and 1886, the defensive system was modified by the construction of the batteries of the Taillefer, the Cinq Cents and the fort Galline. Blockhouses were also constructed by German occupant in 1942-1944.

Current state

The ramparts were demolished in the 19th century: all that is left is the redoubt of the Fanal and the Béarn. The redoubt of the Béarn houses a museum dedicated to French Algeria and Sidi Berruch.


42° 31' 8" N, 3° 6' 21" E

redoubts and town planning
Louis-Nicolas de Clerville, Sébastien le Prestre de Vauban, Christophe Rousselot, Augustin-Joseph de Mailly
  • AYATS (A.), Les fortifications de Vauban. Découverte guidée en pays catalan, Canet, 2007.
  • FAUCHERRE (N.), La route des fortifications en Méditerranée, Paris, 2007.
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