The one who knows Lille also knows its Ch’tis, its huge street market and its citadel. Built by the famous Vauban during the 17th century, the citadel kept its military function but also greet a lot of walker who come to relax. In 1668, Lille just became French whereas the Flanders belonged to the Spanish. After its reconquest, Louis XIV, the Sun King, ask to his personal engineer Vauban, to build the military citadel. They choose together a place in a marshy area at the edge of the Deûle.
They began the construction in 1667, and Vauban who was helped by the master-mason Simon Vollant. They built a canal especially for the raw material transportation. Only three years after, the citadel was already finished and greeted its first recruit. This is a real barracks enable to keep an eye on the city. The inside of the citadel looked like a real city with its shops, the mill and the barber.
Its star shape made its fame, and it’s now a military site that shelter since 1871 the 43th Infantry Regiment, added today to the General Staff of the Rapid Reaction Corps.
The rest was transformed into the park of the Deûle, with plantations and the creation of lanes. Just next to the “Bois de Boulogne” and the zoo, the citadel is a real lung for the city. The citadel greets walkers, joggers, cyclists, for a relaxing ballad, at the heart of the town.