Fort de Bouc

Fort de Bouc. Source: ECPAD


Known as the Caserne Suffren de Martigues and Fort Vauban, this fort is located at the entrance to the étang de Caronte, which connects the étang de Berre to the Mediterranean Sea.



Located on the seaside, the town of Port-de-Bouc was founded on 2 September 1866 when it was detached from Fos and Martigues. It is now in the Martigues Industrial Park, at the Lavéra oil port.


The Fort de Bouc is owned by the town of Martigues. Also known as the Caserne Suffren de Martigues and Fort Vauban, the Fort de Bouc is located on the former Bouc Islet, at the entrance to the Étang de Caronte which connects the Étang de Berre to the Mediterranean Sea. Built on the south bank of the Passe which crosses Port-de-Bouc, the fort has been connected to land since the Canal de Canevielle was filled in.


Originally, in the 12th century, it was a simple square stone tower that watched over the natural haven of Bouc and Martigues. In 1536, Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, invaded Provence and had the Genoese admiral, Andréa Doria; take possession of the islet and the fort. Valiantly defended by the residents of Martigues, it did not fall. In the 17th century, Richelieu had many political prisoners locked up in the fort, including Laurent de Coriolis, President of the Parliament of Aix, guilty of having taken the side of Gaston d'Orléans, and he died in this State prison in 1644.


Upon the order of Louis XIV, Vauban improved the structure in 1664 by adding powerful ramparts around the tower. The citadel was now a bastioned fortification equipped with a typical defence system that eliminated blind spots and areas out of reach of fire.

The fort was handed over to the Ministry of War on 1 June 1932, before being occupied by the Lighthouses and Buoys Department. During World War II, German troops moved into the fort during the occupation.


The tower of the citadel now has a cylindrical turret with a 32-metre high lighthouse which has been electrified since 1936 and thus carries on the mission of the “farots” of the Middle Ages.


Access: 10 km west of Martigues on the N 568 highway. 45 km west of Marseille on the A 55 motorway.

Tourism Office: Rond point de l'Hôtel de Ville 13500 Martigues Tel.: +33 (0)4 42 42 31 10 Fax: +33 (0)4 42 42 31 11 E-mail :

Martigues Tourism Office website


  • Le fort de Port de Bouc. Source : ECPAD

  • Le fort de Bouc. Source : ECPAD

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