Fort Uxegney

Courtyard, Fort Uxegney. Photo ARFUPE

Fort Uxegney is a striking summary of the development of fortification techniques between 1870 and 1914.
To defend the new frontier between France and Germany, in 1874 General Séré de Rivières began the construction of two lines of defence made up of forts and armed bases: one on the Hauts de Meuse, between Verdun and Toul, and another on the Haute Moselle, between Epinal and Belfort. Fort Uxegney, which lies 6km north-west of Epinal, is just one of the more important elements of the Place d'Epinal, consisting of a line of 16 forts and closed structures stretching along 43 kilometres. Built between 1882 and 1884, its purpose was to defend the road connecting Epinal and Mirecourt, the Epinal-Nancy railway line and the canal to the east. In addition, the fort had to defend neighbouring structures, in particular Bois l'Abbé (1883-1885) a structure 1200 metres east of Fort Uxegney made entirely of masonry and with an excellent view of the Séré de Rivières system.
Moreover, Bois l'Abbé differs from Fort Uxegney which, after modernisation in 1894 (using special concrete to reinforce part of the central barracks, the explosives storeroom and the undercover passage) and 1910 (the use of reinforced concrete on certain parts of the fort, the installation of armoured turrets used as observation posts), is a striking summary of the development of fortification techniques between 1870 and 1914.
Abandoned by the army in 1960, Fort Uxegney, which was miraculously spared from destruction during the two world wars, has been maintained and restored since 1990 by the association for the restoration of Fort Uxegney and Place d'Epinal (ARFUPE). Since April 2002, thanks to the passionate work of some twenty volunteers from that association over almost 15 years, the fort and the Bois l'Abbé are registered on the supplementary list of historical monuments.
During visits, it is now possible to discover, through the numerous underground galleries, the electricity generation plant, the kitchens, the barracks, and, above all, the last remaining operational Galopin rotary retractable turret (155mm), a giant machine constructed in 1907. A walk beneath the structure also gives the visitor the opportunity to examine the different armoured domes and enjoy a superb view of the Avières valley.
Now recognised by professionals in the tourism industry, Fort Uxegney could, with the support of the ministry of defence (DMPA) become a site of real historical interest in terms of the Séré de Rivières fortification.
Opening dates and times Guided tours May 2009 - Sunday: 15h From the 1st of July to the 31st of August Guided tours - Monday to Saturday: 14h and 16h - Sunday: 14h, 15h and 16h Open all year round for groups with appointment Duration of visit: 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours Bring warm clothing Prices Adults: 5 € Groups of more than 15: 4 € Children 7 to 14: 1.50 € children fare : 1 € Contacts Tel.: (+33) 3 29 38 32 09 ARFUPE Rue des forts 88390 UXEGNEY E-mail: fort-uxegney@orange.fr Epinal Tourist Office 6, place Saint-Goëry BP 304 88008 Epinal Cedex Tel.: (+33) 3 29 82 53 32 Fax: (+33) 3 29 82 88 22 E-mail: tourisme.epinal@wanadoo.fr
  • Entrée du fort d'Uxegney. Source : GNU Free Documentation License

  • La tourelle de 155 Photo ARFUPE

  • Une tourelle cuirassée Photo ARFUPE

  • L'entrée du fort d'Uxegney. Source : ECPAD

  • La cour du fort d'Uxegney Photo ARFUPE

  • La tourelle de 155 Photo ARFUPE

  • Une tourelle cuirassée Photo ARFUPE

  • L'entrée du fort d'Uxegney. Source : ECPAD

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    Practical information

    Address

    Rue des forts 88390
    Uxegney
    Tél. : 03.29.38.32.09. Office du tourisme d'Epinal 6, place Saint-Goëry BP 304 88008 Epinal Cedex Tel : 03 29 82 53 32 Fax : 03 29 82 88 22

    Prices

    6 € (adultes) 5 € (groupes > 15 personnes) 2,50 € (enfants de 7 à 14 ans) 2 € (tarif réduit enfants)

    Weekly opening hours

    Mai : visites guidées le dimanche à 15 h Juin et septembre : visites guidées le dimanche à 15 h et 16 h Du 1er juillet au 31 août : visites guidées du lundi au samedi à 14 h et 16 h. Le dimanche à 14 h, 15 h et 16 h Toute l'année pour les groupes (à partir de 15 personnes), sur rendez-vous. Visites exceptionnelles du fort de Bois-l'Abbé 14 juillet et le dimanche des Journées du Patrimoine Décembre : Marché de Noël du fort d'Uxegney Visites guidées du fort à tarif réduit (4 euros et 1 euro)