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The Citadel of Arras

The Arras’ Citadel was built under the plans of Vauban between 1668 and 1672 and on the order of king Louis XIV (1661-1715). The aim of the citadel was to protect the city from the attacks (Spanish troops coming from the Netherlands) but was rapidly nicknamed “the beautiful useless” because of its position hardly strategic. It was built near the stream ‘le Crinchon’, which was used to flood its ditches and to water the horses of the army.

The citadel also houses the oldest chapel of the city: the chapel Saint Louis that dates from the XVII century. The chapel was classified as Historical Monument in 1920.

The citadel was classified as part of the “World Inheritance of Humanity” by UNESCO in 2008.

Arras’s citadel


The firing squad wall is an important place of the Arras citadel. 218 opponents to the war from different nationalities were shot between August 1941 and July 1944. On the wall, the visitors can read the names of the victims, which are inscribed on 218 plaques.



Arras Citadel

Arras Citadel

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “The Citadel of Arras”

  1. Steve Larkinson 27 Nov 2016 at 1:19 am 1

    If we bring a group of 25 people do we need to book and is there parking for a coach?

  2. Arras Guideon 28 Nov 2016 at 10:01 pm 2

    Hi Steve,

    You do not need to book anything to visit the Arras Citadel. Yes, there are parkings around the Citadel, it’s not a problem.

    Best Wishes,

  3. Linda Joneson 08 May 2017 at 4:13 pm 3

    Hi, I recently visited the Citadel with some 50 other choir members, a D Day veteran and 2 other veterans, plus their support group. This place is amazing, and a wreath was laid. Because it was just a part of our tour we could not stop long, but I managed to find the chapel, which is an amazing space. The post and the names of those who died moved us to tears, and I look forward to visiting again, when I can take more time to visit.

  4. Christine Williamson 05 Oct 2020 at 2:05 pm 4

    Can you tell me about the history of the Citadel when it was used as a prison for the British Prisoners of War from 1803 until 1815 – Napoleonic Wars.