History and description

The first battery constructed on this beach dates from 1627, during the siege ordered by Richelieu. It allowed access to the port to be controlled. Seventy years later, at the end of the War of the League of Augsbourg, Francis Ferry wished to reinforce the former battery as part of construction work to renovate the defences of La Rochelle, which he had been commissioned to perform by Vauban the same year. His superior was opposed to it. It was not until 1703 that a new project emerged, implemented by the engineer Rousselot. This project consisted of the construction of a redoubt with a defensive inner fortified structure based on the plans of Vauban, a central square tower on two levels, the ground floor of which was vaulted and hosted a cistern and magazines. On each of its faces, a unique arch machicolation ensured the flanking of the escarpment base.
In 1846, the July Monarchy added a defensive guardroom in front of the construction. Around 1935-1939, four emplacements for cannons of 240 mm and a bunker for modern munitions completed the installation.

Current state

The battery of Chef-de-Baie still exists but is not currently open to visitors. It is well-preserved but overgrown with vegetation.


46° 9' 14.5642" N, -1° 12' 8.6861" E

coastal tower
François Ferry, Sébastien le Prestre de Vauban, Christophe Rousselot
  • D’AUNAY (A.), Vauban, génie maritime, Paris, 2007, éd. Gallimard.
  • DEQUESNES (R.), FAILLE (R.), FAUCHERRE (N.) et PROST (P.), Les fortifications du littoral, la Charente maritime, Chauray, 1993.
  • LE BLANC (F Y), FAUCHERRE (N.), La route des fortifications en Atlantique. Paris, 2007.
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