Citadel ramparts in AutumnCitadel ramparts in Autumn
©Citadel ramparts in Autumn|Laurent Javoy - Hello Lille

The Citadelle of Lille Vauban's work

Known as the “Queen of Citadels”. Built by order of Louis XIV in 1667, it is the masterpiece of Sébastien Leprestre, Marquis de Vauban. A fortress for military purposes, it is still in use today.

A defense to the glory of King Louis XIV

In the 17th century, Lille was still attached to the Spanish Netherlands. Louis XIV and his troops put an end to this annexation in 1667. Lille became part of the Kingdom of France. The Sun King decided to build a strategic and military edifice, a veritable ode to his glory: fleur-de-lys, crown, multiple representations of the sun, armor from imperial Rome… The citadel represents the first visible transition from Baroque to Classical style in the 17th century. Its chapel is the oldest classical-style building in Lille.

The listed Citadel Historical monument

The Citadelle de Lille has been a listed historic monument since 2012. Today, the building is still used for military purposes: it houses the Corps de Réaction Rapide-France (CRR-Fr). This is the French army’s most powerful deployable operational headquarters. It houses 450 soldiers from 14 allied nations. That’s why it’s so difficult to get through the gates of the Reine des Citadelles. Difficult… but not impossible if you’re accompanied by the Lille Tourist Office!

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