A citadel to protect Marseille
The Mediterranean sea contributes to Marseille prosperity but was also at the origin of tragic events.The city was besieged by the armies of the Holy Roman Empire in 1524 and only saved by its walls and the announcement of the arrival of French reinforcements
François Ier,aware of strategic importance of the city (prosperous port open to the Mediterranean Sea), decide to reinforce its defenses by building an impregnable fortress on a islet beaten by the ‘Mistral’ but occupying a strategic position on the access road to the calanque of the Lacydon this massive and powerfully armed fortress had a triple function :
Prevent an enemy fleet from invading the city by the sea, as was the case in 1423 by Aragonese troops.
- To protect the royal arsenals, and to cover the exits and entrances of galleys anchored there
- To reinforce the Royal hold, on a proud and independant minded city, which became a part of the kingdom at the end of the 15th century at the same time as Provence.
Fortifications had been reinforced in 1702 by Vauban which included the construction of low coastal batteries and a new barracks. This exceptional military architectural ensemble was classified as a historical monument on July 7th 1926.