Discover now


Castles, ramparts and hilltop forts are scattered throughout northern Burgundy – Franche-Comté. Located at the heart of the European continent, the Trouée de Belfort “, or the Belfort Gap, is the only plain to link the Rhine and Danube valleys with the Rhône valley. It forms a natural passageway between the Vosges and Jura mountains, at the junction point between Germanic and Latin cultures, which has benefited many armed troops in the past.

In 1648, the town of Belfort came under French rule and acquired its role as a key military site. A few years later, Vauban would further raise its prestige by building a pentagon of fortifications around the town. He also reinforced the medieval castle to turn it into a veritable Citadel.

During the war against Prussia in 1870/71, Belfort held out thanks to these first generation fortifications. Nevertheless, in response to progress in artillery and at a time when Alsace/Moselle were being annexed, General Séré de Rivières was asked to draw up a plan for more powerful fortifications to ensure the security of the territory.

In the Nord Franche-Comté area, a fortified belt was primarily developed in the Belfort region, but also in the Doubs and Haute-Saône. The fortified belt around the Belfort stronghold comprises around fifteen forts and twenty or so more secondary works (not including shelters, batteries, etc.).


Visit the 21 forts that make up the Nord Franche-Comté Fortified Belt




Discover all the news

Discover the Z-Card

The Z-Card contains all the practical information you need to prepare your visits in a handy mobile format. Available from Tourist Offices and information points.

Fortified Belt

21 forts


FORTifying moments

Keep up to date with news about the forts along the NORD FRANCHE COMTÉ FORTIFIED BELT!


diary dates


No event found!