Recent Searches
Clear
Citadel of Blaye (Citadelle de Blaye)
Citadel of Blaye (Citadelle de Blaye)

Citadel of Blaye (Citadelle de Blaye)

Free admission

The Citadel of Blaye is a 17th-century fortress in the town of Blaye north of Bordeaux, France. The walled city was built around a parade ground, a monastery dedicated to the Minims order, and several army barracks. King Louis XIV ordered the Marquis de Vauban to build the fortress in order to protect Bordeaux from attack.

Learn more
Open daily from 10am to 6:30pm
Blaye, France

The basics

The ruins of a number of buildings are inside the fortress, including the 12th-century Rudel Castle, the 12th-century Liverneuf Gate, and the 15th-century Éguillette Tower. The entire area covers about 94 acres (38 hectares). Many visitors come here independently, but you can also request to stop at the citadel as part of a customizable Bordeaux tour, and it’s worth exploring with a guide to learn about the fort’s strategic history.

Show all

Things to know before you go

  • The Citadel of Blaye is a must-see for history fans.
  • There is no fee to visit the citadel.
  • The fort is best explored on foot and is not wheelchair accessible.
  • Most of the citadel’s ruins are outside, so wear sunscreen or a jacket depending on the season, plus comfortable footwear.
Show all

How to get there

The Citadel is located in Blaye, a small community situated an hour's drive north of Bordeaux (or five hours southwest of Paris) in the Gironde department of France. Public transportation options in the area are dismal, and Blaye is best reached by car from Bordeaux, which is connected to many major French cities by rail and air.

Show all

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Bordeaux

How to Spend 2 Days in Bordeaux

Médoc Wine Tasting from Bordeaux

Médoc Wine Tasting from Bordeaux

Arcachon Oyster Tastings in Bordeaux

Arcachon Oyster Tastings in Bordeaux


When to get there

The Citadel of Blaye is open daily throughout the year, but as it's mostly outdoors, you're best off visiting from May through September, when the temperatures are pleasantly warm. Winters here can be chilly and rainy, but rarely get too cold; just make sure to bring a good rain jacket if you are visiting from November through April.

Show all

The Fortifications of Vauban

At the time when the Citadel of Blaye was built, the range of available cannons was not long enough to cover two miles from one side of the river to the other. Vauban built two more forts, Fort Paté and Fort Médoc, so that the three together could set up cross-fires to prevent enemies from reaching Bordeaux. They are part of a larger UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Fortifications of Vauban.

Show all
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Citadel of Blaye (Citadelle de Blaye)?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Bordeaux?
A:
As well as visiting the Citadel of Blaye (Citadelle de Blaye), check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: