Wide angle – A fortress inspired by Vauban to stop the...

In Mali, France built an outpost deemed impregnable, drawing inspiration from the fortifications of the Sun King and the fort imagined in the novel “The Desert of the Tartars”.

Pietro Del Re

Posted today at 08:28

In a portion of the desert, where Mount Hombori stands (right), French soldiers fight militiamen affiliated with Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.


To defend the village of Labbezanga, located on the border between Mali and Niger from jihadist offensives, the French have just built an outpost considered impregnable. To do this, they were inspired by the fortifications built by their ancestors from the Renaissance period, including the Citadel of Besançon, the Tour Vauban (initially Tour de Camaret) or the Fort carré d’Antibes, buildings that are all listed as World Heritage by Unesco and were all built by France’s most famous military engineer, the Marquis Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban.

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