The Citadel of Blaye - a solid and strategic defense fortress.
Good morning everyone and Happy 2017,
They say the hardest part with keeping up with a blog is writing on a regular basis. Yes, this is my first post in many months, life just sometimes takes over and the blog unfortunately took a back-burner to juggling work, kids, activities and the everyday adventures of living in France. Believe me, even after 5 years there are still surprises about living in France as an expat.
I'm currently on Winter hiatus from regular work of tour guiding for the river cruises on the Garonne. Hopefully this time will enable me finish the many draft posts I have started over the past year. A couple things for my regular readers, who may only know me through this blog or who may be following me on facebook, twitter or Instagram. For the past couple years, I have been separated from my husband and we are currently in the midst of working through our divorce. Yes, I'm choosing to stay in France for many reasons, so yes, this blog will continue, it's been and will continue to be a great way to share our life and show off this beautiful region. Perhaps one day, when all is done, I'll write a post of how to get divorced in France -needles to say, I'm learning a lot.
I thought that for today the Citadel of Blaye would be a great place to share. (Perhaps it's my inner voice of battle and defense...lol) The girls and I go there from time to time to walk around - it's located about 45 minutes Northeast of Bordeaux at the beginning of the Garonne River. The Citadel of Blaye is a Military complex built between 1685-1689 and sits overlooking the Gironde estuary. It was designed to control navigation from the Ocean heading to Bordeaux other points further upstream.and it complimented by forts on Block Island in the middle of the Estuary and Fort Medoc located directly across on the West bank.
The design and construction of this citadel was supervised by the famous military architect, Vauban and is an example of his well-know and recognizable star-shaped walls surrounding the fortress. Inside is very much a "city within" with a church, various buildings, barracks, garrison and even remains of an old medieval castle. Since 2008, this site as been classifies under UNESCO and is definitely a must see when you come to the area.
It's a beautiful place to wander around by yourself, with someone special or as a family. You might even get lucky enough to time your visit with one of several festivals that are hosted inside the walls. It's free to enter and on a nice day, one sees people relaxing on the grounds, or even picnicking on a blanket. You can pay for a guided tour to understand more of its history and fun facts - or you can just wander around breathing in the countryside and beautiful views of the river.
The final photo is taken from the citadel walls looking toward the village of Blaye. I highly recommend spending some time here as it's located so close to the Bordeaux. Wishing everyone a wonderful day and hope you come back to read more. Would love to hear from any of my readers, feel free to comment.