The town of Besançon, the Citadel and the 19th Engineering Regiment have forged and maintained strong ties for many years. 20 years ago, on 8 June 1991, they signed a twinning agreement. Thus, in view of the testimonies and links of friendship that have always existed between the local inhabitants and the soldiers of the garrison, the town of Besançon, the world heritage Citadel- public institution and the 19th Engineering regiment have signed a partnership convention to develop conservation and enhancement measures of the heritage bequeathed by Vauban, creator of military engineering.
The overall objectives of the convention are to:
- support the conservation and enhancement of the UNESCO World Heritage site .
- maintain the technical skills of the military personnel of the regiment and improve their sports training,
- develop cultural, heritage and historic collaboration with the 19th Engineering Regiment’s traditions unit.
- make the knowledge of military heritage more accessible to the general public through enhancement measures such as lectures and exhibitions and conservation initiatives such as exchanges of best practice.
In terms of the convention, the 19th Engineering regiment agrees to :
- provide a team to carry out maintenance work and clean up the ramparts and fortifications once or twice per year by clearing vegetation and removing weeds, scrub and undergrowth etc. to thereby help conserve and enhance the ramparts and fortifications,
- provide the World Heritage Citadel-public institution with a projected schedule for these maintenance measures at the beginning of each year where possible,
- coverany costs for equipment and military personnel needed for carrying out these measures.
- provide the necessary skilled supervision to ensure that these maintenance measures in conjunction with the World Heritage Citadel-public institution are carried out properly.
A plan of the location of the measures, on the site of the Citadel, is developed with the General Manager of the Citadel, or his representative, and meets the constraints of national and prefectorial regulations and inspection of work for the Citadel (decrees for the protection of historical monuments and the site; decree for the protection of the habitat of the Peregrine Falcon; and prior declaration of any work on all of the outer walls of the enceinte of the ramparts).
In return for services rendered, the Public Institution grants all Regiment personnel and their families (spouse + minors) a free guided visit of the Citadel annually.
The institution also undertakes to study, pursue and implement joint cultural, historic and heritage enhancing measures each year, in collaboration with the 19th Engineering regiment’s traditions unit.