Redoubt of 3 Communes

First fort in the Alps to be built of reinforced concrete, Redoubt of 3 Communes is part of the system for securing the countryside around Nice developed by Seré de Rivières.

The first fort in the Alps to be built of reinforced concrete, the Redoubt of Les Trois Communes is part of the system for securing the countryside around Nice developed by Seré de Rivières. Constructed in 1897 on the site of a former Sardinian battery, the Redoubt of Les Trois Communes occupies one of the Authion's strategic positions and controls the La Roya and Vésubie valley. It watches over the crest of the Ortiguié which leads to the Raus pass and the former border. It is the highest point in the Authion range at an altitude of 2080 metres.

The limestone valley of La Roya marks the easternmost edge of the Nice hinterland. Belonging first of all to Provence in the 13th century and then to the Savoie at the end of the 14th century, it is a transit zone for goods from the coast towards Piedmont. Controlled in turn by the Sardinians, Spanish, Austrians and French, in the 18th century it was the setting for many confrontations, most notably around Sospel, between Sardinian anti-revolutionary troops and republicans. The lower valley of La Roya became French during the reattachment of the county of Nice to France in 1860. The upper valley was retained by Italy, giving more weight to the strategic role of the forts. The aim of the redoubt was to protect two other forts built on the Authion: Forca and Mille Fourches. It thus played its part in securing the valley.
Small in size, built on high ground and surrounded by a moat, the fort was one of the first to be built from reinforced concrete at the end of the 19th century and the first fort in the Alpes-Maritimes to use both stone work and reinforced concrete. It was thus a "prototype" that demonstrates the development of fortification techniques. It is of note that, to save money, only the sides exposed to Italian fire were reinforced with concrete. During the construction of the Alps Maginot line, protection was provided by Fort Saint-Roch. Violent battles took place there in 1945. Preserved as it was, the fort bears witness to the violence of the fighting of April 1945 that allowed the 1st DFL to take back the Authion range from the Germans.
Tours from June to October Belvédère Tourist Information Office: +33 (0) 4 93 03 41 23 Saint-Martin de la Vésubie Tourist centre: +33 (0) 4 93 03 21 28 Access Via the col de Turini on the D 2566, towards the resort of Camp d'argent and then Authion. Car park in Les Trois Communes