Vue aérienne de Neuf-Brisach
Fortifications of Vauban


A remarkable town built from scratch

A perfect star on the Alsace plain, Neuf-Brisach can be seen as the culmination of all of Vauban’s fortified work.

After the loss of Brisach beyond the Rhine in 1697, the construction of a new stronghold on the Alsace plain was called for. Vauban was sent in haste to the site. He submitted different projects to the king, who chose the most complete and expensive one. Construction started in 1699 and involved digging a canal right to the Vosges to bring the pink sandstone required. After 1703, when Brisach was recaptured, work dragged on as the new stronghold had lost its strategic importance.

Neuf-Brisach is the sole example of Vauban’s third system and is his most successful urban planning project. A simple principle determines the internal organization of this octagonal layout namely to provide practical internal thoroughfares so that different areas, for commanding, fighting or civilian activity could exist in harmony without getting in each others way.

The town was divided into 48 blocks, set around the central parade ground which grouped together the most important buildings. 34 of the blocks were reserved for use by the 4000 inhabitants of the town. The barracks were constructed up against the ramparts to best protect the civilians.

Inscribed Property
the town of Neuf-Brisach
Outstanding Universal Value
synthesis set, both for urban planning and as the only example of the third system
Date of construction
between 1699 and 1703
643 ft
Grand Est
GPS coordinates
48.017733, 7.52831
  • Les fortifications de Neuf-Brisach
    The fortifications of Neuf-Brisach
  • Vue aérienne de Neuf-Brisach
    The town of Neuf-Brisach from the air
  • La place d'armes de Neuf-Brisach
    The place-of-arms of Neuf-Brisach
  • Les fortifications de Neuf-Brisach
    The fortifications of Neuf-Brisach

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

Town of Neuf-Brisach
4, rue de l’Hôtel de Ville
68 600 Neuf-Brisach
Phone number: +33 3 89 72 14 56

How to visit / Access

The ramparts are freely accessible all year round.