Located not far from our shores, the legendary Fort Boyard, guardian of the Rochefort arsenal, a military prison, abandoned for almost 80 years and then restored, holds its international fame thanks to the television game show of the same name.
Listed as a Historic Monument in 1950, it is an integral part of the landscape of Charente-Maritime.
The opinion of the local counter
We like to sail to discover the emblematic Fort Boyard at sunset aboard a sailboat. Enough to create unforgettable memories!
The famous game show
Created in the early 1990s, the game show "Fort Boyard" is a great international success and is one of the flagship programs of the summer season in France. The motto of the show "Always further, always higher, always stronger!" resounds in everyone's mind. The concept has evolved over the years, putting the candidates in the face of physical or intellectual tests in order to win a treasure. The teams are surrounded by characters as famous as the fort: the enigmatic Father Fouras, the guardian of the Passe-Partout keys, the tamer Félindra as well as the imperturbable La Boule.
Can we visit Fort Boyard?
Property of the General Council of Charente-Maritime, the production company of the eponymous game show has the exclusive exploitation. The site is therefore not accessible to the general public. You can nevertheless approach the stone vessel by boat, departing from La Rochelle.
Once upon a time there was Fort Boyard...
As early as the XNUMXth century, at the end of the construction of the great arsenal of Rochefort, a defensive device was envisaged on a sand bank called the "longe de Boyard", located between the islands of Aix and Oléron. After the various surveys, Vauban, the famous engineer-architect, addressed Louis XIV with this famous sentence: "Sire, it would be easier to grasp the Moon with the teeth than to attempt such a task in this place..". The project was finally realized only during the XNUMXth century.
An obsolete building
When it was completed under the Second Empire, the fort aroused pride: it was one of the most difficult and costly achievements of the century. From this time, the progress of long-range artillery made it useless and its military use was never what it should have been. He then becomes the target of looters and no one knows what to do with him. Fort Boyard served for a few years as a prison before finally being disarmed in 1913 and then abandoned for nearly 80 years to the delight of the birds.
A second life
The fort was classified as a historic monument in 1950. It was bought by a collector in 1962 who, not having the means to maintain or restore it, resold it to the production company. Jacques Antoine's game shows in 1988. He then sold the fort to the General Council of Charente-Maritime for a symbolic 1 franc. The department then undertakes to carry out the rehabilitation work against the exclusivity of the site to the production company of the now famous game show of the same name.