The Citadel of Arras, a stronghold in the “pré carré”
The construction of a citadel inArrasstarted in 1668 by order of Louis XIV. Strategically located on the north-eastern border of thekingdomofFrance,Arrashad been coveted since time immemorial. As always, Vauban, the engineer, strove to make the best use of the existing terrain and therefore designed a pentagonal citadel. The buildings were constructed to an orthogonal plan, defended by ditches filled with water. In 1678, the citadel was incorporated into the second line of the “pré carré” system which he developed to defendFrance. Over the centuries, the citadel housed a succession of different Engineering regiments; each one modified the citadel to suit their needs. The citadel remained in military use until 2009, when it became the property of the Urban Community of Arras. It is now gradually being developed as an integral part of the town, a real district rich in outstanding natural and cultural heritage, with its unique history.