Monday, June 20, 2011

[Resources] Fort du Portalet

The Fort du Portalet is a French fortress in the Pyrenees Mountains. Constructed between 1842 and 1870, the fort was placed to control the Somport Pass between France and Spain. Situated 100 yards above the original toll location, the fort was designed to garrison nearly 500 men.

Occupied for over 50 years by the 18th Pau Infantry Regiment, it became a summer camp from 1925 until 1939. After the start of World War II, it became a Vichy prison and, ironically, Philippe Petain, the former head of Vichy France, was imprisoned there briefly after the war.

The 18th returned to the Fort, occupying it until 1952. After mothballing the fort in 1962, the military sold it in 1966. A series of owners managed to let it slowly collapse into ruin until it finally became a national monument (2005) and a restoration project began.

A website with some cool pics of the fort is here. Many of the pictures are haunting in their simplicity. Another has just a few pics but they show better the size of the fort. A third site has a few pictures and an original sketch. Another set of photos is in Wikipedia Commons.


  1. Would be cool to see a map, i'm sure it would make a great D&D adventure environment!


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