Longwy fortified town

Longwy. Porte de France. Source : © Initsogan- License Creative Commons - Libre de droit

After signing of the Treaty of Nijmegen, Louis XIV decided to create a fortified town at Longwy



After the signing of the Treaty of Nijmegen, to command the respect of the Spanish garrison in Luxembourg and to close the opening in the Ardennes between the Meuse and the Moselle, Louis XIV decided to create a fortified town at Longwy. He had the old château and medieval Longwy-Haut destroyed in order to build the "new town" slightly further north, on the edge of the plateau which overlooked the Chiers valley and the lower town. Construction began in 1679. Longwy holds a very special place among the 160 towns on which Vauban worked: it was one of nine towns he constructed "ex nihilo" (from nothing) and which therefore best portray his vision of an ideal town.


The fortress was constructed to a star plan with six bastions. All the equipment needed for a wartime base was provided: a sizeable church, a large arsenal, eleven barracks and five wells. The wall was surrounded by ramparts, with two entrances: Porte de Bourgogne (destroyed in 1914) and Porte de France, which were built symmetrically north and south of the parade ground (today known as Darche Square, from the name of the colonel who defended the Longwy site in 1914) set in the centre of the hexagon.

Longwy was besieged four times, with the siege of 1914 causing the most damage. The north-western part was completely destroyed. The buildings around place Darche also suffered: the third floor of the tower of Saint Dagobert Church fell in 1871, and the governor's palace was destroyed in the same siege, whilst the interior of the town hall was bombed in 1914. Despite this, certain buildings survived and are now Historic Monuments: the Siege Well, the Porte de France (finely decorated for the king's visit) whilst others have been given new uses: the Ordener barracks, the military services building, etc.


Guided tours of these surviving buildings are now available to visitors. A large number of structures recount the history of Longwy.


Longwy fortified town

Tourist Office:

Place Darche 54400 Longwy-Haut

Tel: +33 (0)3 82 24 27 17 - +33 (0)3 82 24 94 54

Fax: +33 (0)3 82 24 77 75


  • Photo de la porte d'entrée du fort de Longwy Photo : Vincent Konsler

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    Practical information


    Place Darche 54400
    03 82 24 27 17


    Adulte : 3 € Enfant : gratuit Groupe : 2 €

    Weekly opening hours

    Visite guidée de mai à Octobre, le mercredi et le vendredi à 15h et le dimanche et jours fériés à 14h30