A coordinated safety approach

Municipality of Blaye -


  • Area of the citadel: 23 ha
  • Useable surface area: 14 000 m²
  • Number of visitors in 2013: 380,000
  • Roads and paths: 8 000 m²

“Reopening the shutters”

Blaye citadel has been owned by the municipality since 1954. After the citadel was included on the World Heritage List, the municipality undertook a process referred to as “reopening the shutters ” of the citadel’s barracks, with the aim of finding new features in order to enhance the municipality’s tourist appeal and showcase the municipal public domain. Today, the citadel is home to a cultural centre, the tourist office, a museum, restaurants, several workshops and craftsmen’s shops and artists’ galleries.

Moving towards a safety masterplan

As the site attracts a large number of tourists it is essential to take into account the risks faced by visitors. Following a serious accident in 2006, a risk analysis was conducted by the Ministry of Culture and Communication’s Architecture and Heritage Department’s Fire Safety Committee. Its report recommended, given the size of the citadel, putting in place a secure visit route, with priority being given to installing handrails in the embrasures, the staircases and next to the specially developed viewpoints. A recommendation was also made to ensure these measures were backed up by signs to warn visitors of the potential danger.

Finance plan

Cost of supplying signage and handrails: 14 000€ (First range)


Positive aspects

An all-encompassing document is in the process of being prepared by the Blaye sub-prefecture, in partnership with the municipality, the SDIS, DDTM and the gendarmerie. It is, in fact, a Specification intended for organisers of events in the citadel, related to the measures to be implemented concerning safety and accessibility: height of the barriers, movement of the emergency services, accessibility and the safety of the disabled... The shortterm goal is to make the site fully secure by installing barriers in other parts of the site.