Fort Saint-Louis in Fort-de-France

Le fort Saint-Louis à Fort-de-France. ©Michel FRANCES - Source :

Fort Saint-Louis, built in the 17th century, is situated in what is now Baie du Lamentin in Martinique.


Originally located in Saint-Pierre, Jacques Dyel du Parquet, lieutenant general of Martinique since 2nd December 1637, became aware of the nautical and strategic advantages of the "Royal Cul de Sac", the current Baie du Lamentin.
He decided to have a retrenchment built on the extreme south of a spur that closed the bay, with a few planks of wood as a stockade. He posted a garrison of 200 men armed with canons. This camp became "Fort-Royal" in 1664 when the king purchased the rights from du Parquet's successors.

After an English wing destroyed French ships moored in Saint-Pierre in 1667, it was decided to instead use the "Royal Cul du Sac" site and to reinforce the "Fort-Royal" by replacing the stockades with masonry structures, extending the hold to the entire peninsular.


The efficacy of the system was proven in 1673 when a Holland wing, which came to attack moored French ships, was forced back by the fort's canons.
From 1674 to 1703, a number of reinforcements were made under the impetus of the governors of Baas, Blénac and Amblimont, with assistance from the engineer, Payen.
On 14th September 1681, the royal pennant which had flown until then over Saint-Pierre was transferred to Fort-Royal. At the same time, the city of the same name was built.

Le fort Saint Louis est ouvert à la visite tous les jours. Ce monument historique, dont le ministère de la défense est affectataire, fait partie d'un protocole Culture Défense, signé le 17 septembre 2005.

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Quizz : Forts et citadelles


  • Le fort Saint-Louis. Source : Henri Hazael-Massieux
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