Fort Saint Barthélémy


Fort evolution
    > Fort St Barthélémy
    > 17th Century
    > Vauban & the Fort
    > 18th/19th Cent.

Duke Charles Emmanuel the First of Savoie decides in 1597 to erect a Fort into French territories, on the hill of Barraux. Edification is under the responsibility of the engineer Ercole Negro from Piedmont.


To upset the French Constable Lesdiguières who is a Huguenot, the Duke names the stronghold Fort Saint Barthélémy! (On August 24th, 1972, day of St Barthélémy, French King Charles the Nineth ordered all protestants in Paris to be slaughtered. 3000 died).


Most  oak trees from the nearby forest of Servette that made a natural border line between France and Savoie are chopped down to be used during the construction. Stones come from a quarry above Barraux but also from the castles of Bellecombe and  La Buissière that were abandoned 25 years ago. 


The King of France was quite angered that Lesdiguières left his enemy build a fortress on his own land. But his answer was quite clever:
"Sire, the location chosen to build the fort is excellent. But taking into account the status of the finance of the kingdom, it would be better that your cousin the Duke of Savoie be charged for the expenses. When it will almost be completed and prior to be garrisoned, I'll take it."


Which is exactly what he did during the night of March 15, 1598!


Fort Bartolomeo, 
drawing by Ercole Negro
(Click to full size)




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