Fort Boyard in France to Undergo €44 Million Renovation

Fort Boyard, an iconic 19th-century French structure, faces a €44 million renovation to protect it from the Atlantic's deterioration. The project aims to preserve this historic landmark for future generations.

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Fort Boyard in France to Undergo €44 Million Renovation

Fort Boyard in France to Undergo €44 Million Renovation

Fort Boyard, the iconic 19th-century structure off the west coast of France, is set to undergo a major €44 million renovation by the Charente-Maritime department to protect it from deterioration caused by the wind and water of the Atlantic Ocean. The fort, which has been severely damaged by the waves over the years, could fall into ruin if no action is taken, according to studies.

The renovation project, expected to begin in 2025, will involve the reconstruction of the fort's protective structures, including a breakwater, a landing area, and a platform around the structure. "The fort has lost two key elements that protected it from the waves, leading to regular flooding and threatening its long-term destruction," stated officials from the Charente-Maritime department, the owner of the fort.

Originally ordered to be constructed by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1803 to protect France's Atlantic coast, work on Fort Boyard was halted in 1809 after a British attack. The fort was not completed until the 1860s, during the reign of Emperor Napoleon III. The Charente-Maritime department council has now launched an appeal to raise the €44 million needed for the 'colossal project' involving the construction of a breakwater and a berth, both of which existed when the fort was originally built but have since been erased by time and tide.

Why this matters: The renovation of Fort Boyard is vital for preserving this iconic piece of French history and ensuring its structural integrity for future generations. The fort's deterioration highlights the ongoing challenges of maintaining historic coastal structures in the face of natural elements.

The majority of the funding for the renovation will come from the Charente-Maritime department, although officials hope to secure subsidies from the government and regional authorities. The department has launched a public consultation process called 'Let's Save Fort Boyard' and is seeking additional funding from the state, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, and the European Union, as well as launching an appeal for sponsors in 2024. The renovation of the fort itself is not expected to begin until 2028, after the completion of the protective structures in 2027.

Key Takeaways

  • Fort Boyard, a 19th-century French structure, needs €44M renovation to prevent ruin.
  • Renovation to rebuild protective structures like breakwater and landing area by 2028.
  • Fort originally ordered by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1803, completed in 1860s under Napoleon III.
  • Charente-Maritime department owns the fort and is seeking funding from government, EU, and sponsors.
  • Renovation highlights challenges of maintaining historic coastal structures against natural elements.