Portrait De Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban - Estampe de Bonnart Robert, Histoire, Citadelle Vauban, Le Palais à Belle-île, la plus grande des îles de Bretagne, Bretagne Sud
©Source Gallica - BNF

Vauban : Great strategist of Louis XIV in Belle-île

Born in 1633, in the Yonne region, Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban is the most famous French military engineer. He was responsible for the construction of nearly 160 strongholds throughout France. A curious and universal mind, he also prefigured, through many of his writings, the philosophers of the Enlightenment.

Vauban (1633 -1707)

53 years in the service of the Sun King

Coming from the minor nobility of Burgundy, Sebastien le Prestre de Vauban was born in May 1633 in St-Léger-de- Fourcherets, in the Yonne.

From 1653 to 1659, Vauban participated in 14 sieges during which he was wounded several times. At the age of 22, he received his engineer’s license. Nourished by the experience of fire, the young Vauban will think about the procedures of attacking places. As a true mathematician, he will design and codify a method of siege of strongholds in a logical sequence of 12 phases.

After the sieges of Tournai, Douai and Lille, which confirmed his reputation as a “taker of cities“, Louis XIV entrusted him with the task of building the famous citadel of Lille.

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