Belle Île - Walking Le Palais & Citadel
Discover the charm of this quaint and historic port town and hear the fascinating stories of leading citizens of the past, as well as the history behind the Citadel that watches over Le Palais.
Le Palais, the main city of Belle Ile, is dominated by a star- shaped citadel built in the 16th century by the Gondi family, later bought by Fouquet and then enlarged by Vauban. Walk through the charming port of Le Palais to the entrance of the Citadelle Vauban, passing the gate (Porte du Bourg) and following the great Moat (Grand Fossé) carved into the rocks to arrive at the Keep gate.
Visit the citadel and “meet” Fouquet or the Cardinal of Retz, learn about Louis XIV and the “poison affair”, the Chouans and Cadoudal and many more characters. Today, the site is a museum and hotel overlooking the harbour. Discover soldiers’ quarters, prison cells, gunpowder storage, and kitchens. Admire the Governor Bastion and its garden view over Le Palais port and the town, coastline and far distant islands of Houat and Hoedic.
After your visit, stroll back to pier.