Vue aérienne du Fort Pâté, au milieu de l'estuaire de la Gironde
Fortifications of Vauban


The barricade of the estuary

The barricade of the estuary is an imposing triptych guarding the River Gironde and was built by Vauban and his engineer, Ferry, between 1685 and 1692.

At Blaye, Vauban planned a new town wall with four bastions, three demi-lunes and two gates. He thereby transformed the medieval wall, systematically adapting the existing structures but leaving no visible outer signs of his work.

From the other side of the bank, the engineer had a square fort, Fort Médoc, built from scratch on marshy land, meaning that he could only build barriers of earth for defence.

Finally, Vauban erected Fort Pâté on an unstable sandbank in the middle of the river to close off the estuary. This oval canon tower was a remarkable technical feat and the prototype of a compact sea fort. It enabled cross fire with both banks, located 1600 metres from the island.

These three monuments, built on distinctly different sites, are complementary and today share a common cultural and tourism project.

Inscribed Property
the citadel of Blaye, the Fort Médoc and the Fort Pâté
Outstanding Universal Value
locking of an estuary and adaptation to pre-existing works (Blaye enclosure), oval defensive tower (Fort Pâté), gates and hydraulic defences (Fort Médoc)
Date of construction
between 1685 and 1693
between 19 and 118 ft
GPS coordinates
45.117676, -0.678519
  • Le Fort Médoc
    The Fort Médoc
  • La citadelle de Blaye vue du ciel
    The citadel of Blaye seen from the sky
  • Le verrou de l'estuaire vu du ciel
    The estuary lock from the air
  • La citadelle de Blaye
    The citadel of Blaye
  • Le Fort Médoc
    Le Fort Médoc
  • Vue aérienne du Fort Pâté, au milieu de l'estuaire de la Gironde
    The Fort Pâté

Journées européennes du patrimoine

Les 16 & 17 septembre 2023, les douze fortifications de Vauban inscrites sur la Liste du patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO vous proposent de nombreux événements. Découvrez-les vite !

Tourist information

Mairie de Blaye
7, cours Vauban - BP 125
33 394 Blaye cedex
Phone number: 05 57 42 68 68

Mairie de Cussac-Fort-Médoc
11 Place du Général de Gaulle
33 460 Cussac-Fort-Médoc
Phone number: 05 57 88 85 00

Office de tourisme de Blaye
1 place de la citadelle
33 390 Blaye
Phone number: 03 05 57 42 12 09

Visite du Fort Médoc
32 Avenue du Fort-Médoc
33460 Cussac-Fort-Médoc
Phone number: 05 56 58 98 40 / 06 86 59 07 75
Mail :

How to visit / Access

The citadel of Blaye is open all year round. Guided tours.
Fort Médoc is open from 1 February to 30 November, admission fee payable. Guided tours.
Fort Pâté cannot be visited.