The Esseillon forts

The Esseillon glacial sill is a natural rock bar on which the fortresses were built to protect the country from the enemy. Although this military stronghold was never the scene of battle, it is nevertheless steeped in history and is listed as a “Historical Monument”.

Majestically imposing

The Esseillon forts were built according to the plans of the Marquis de Montalembert, between 1815 and 1830 at the time of the Piedmont-Sardinia Kingdom, long before Savoie was annexed to France. So the forts were neither French nor Italian.

The glacial rock barrier of Esseillon (the Piedmontese word for “ladder”) lent itself well to the layout designed by the architect who advocated the mutual defence of each fort by crossfire.

These buildings bear the names of the sovereigns of the royal family: Victor Emmanuel and Marie-Thérèse, Charles-Félix and Marie-Christine, and Charles-Albert.

History for all ages

Still under restoration, the forts can be visited (freely or on guided tours) with the family, as children can play at being soldiers and follow the treasure hunt in Fort Victor Emmanuel.

The Marie-Thérèse Redoubt houses the Fortified Heritage Interpretation Centre, and you’ll find good food and quality accommation at Fort Marie-Christine.

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