Sébastien Le Prestre, marquis of Vauban, Marshal of France, is without doubt one of the most amazing characters from the reign of Louis XIV. He was a prestigious French military engineer, with an enquiring mind, interested in a variety of different areas such as politics (taxes, criticism of the revocation of the edict of Nantes) or technology (hydraulics, urban planning, agriculture, military strategy). He was a precursor of the Enlightenment.
With his charming personality, the engineer enjoyed the unfailing friendship of Louis XIV. He was fundamentally honest, a hard worker, and outspoken with the powerful, including the king. Vauban is also the inventor of the “pré carré”, a territory of the kingdom, protected by a network of strongholds and fortified structures. First limited to the north, it was then expanded to cover all borders ofFrance. Vauban designed or altered over 200 fortresses and fortified structures. The saying, “town besieged by Vauban, town taken; town defended by Vauban, impregnable town," reflects the reality.