Fort de Joux
|Fort de Joux|
|Château de Joux|
|Part of Maginot line|
Near Pontarlier in France
The Fort de Joux
|Owner||Communauté de communes du Larmont|
|Built by||Lords of Joux, Dukes of Burgundy, Charles Quint, Vauban, Joffre.|
|In use||until 1958|
|Materials||Limestone and tufa|
|Battles/wars||1814, 1871, 1940|
The Fort de Joux or Château de Joux is a castle, transformed into a fort, located in La Cluse-et-Mijoux in the Doubs department in the Jura mountains of France. It commands the mountain pass Cluse de Pontarlier.
During its long history, the Château de Joux has gone through successive transformations. The first structure, in the 11th century, was made of wood. In the next century, the lords of Joux rebuilt the dungeon and the external fortifications in stone. Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, bought it in 1454 to transform it as a border fort. He added a moat and barracks. The château passed to Charles the Bold, Mary of Burgundy, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (Habsburgs), Margaret of Austria, and Charles Quint. Each successive owner made improvements. It was finally annexed by France in 1678 by Louis XIV.
While others have improved, or at least repaired, the castle during the course of its history, the château's most famous remodeler was Vauban, who modernized it between 1678 and 1693. The Austrians captured it in 1814. Later, the construction of the forts at Larmont during the 19th century provided reinforcement. In 1879, Captain (later Marshal) Joffre, then a military engineering officer, modernised it and transformed it into a fort included in the Maginot line to prevent German invasion from Swiss territory.
It served as a prison for successive French governments between the 17th and 19th centuries. In this capacity, the château is best known as the site of imprisonment for Toussaint Louverture, who died there on 7 April 1803, Mirabeau, and Heinrich von Kleist.
In addition to being used as a prison, the château has played a part in the defence of the region until the First World War.
The fortress currently houses a museum of arms that exhibits more than 600 rare weapons dating from the early 18th to the 20th centuries, including a rare 1717 rifle. The castle also has a well which, at 147 metres (482 ft), was once the deepest in France. Cut with a horizontal gallery and partially filled, it is now the third deepest at about 101 metres (331 ft).
- Caroit, Jean-Michel, "L’INDEPENDENCE DE LA PREMIERE REPUBLIQUE NOIRE - 1er JANVIER 1804", Le Monde, January 2, 1904. (Archived from the original, June 7, 2004. Website contains translation and apparently the original.
- Francerama (travel website)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fort de Joux.|
- Ministry of Culture database entry for Fort de Joux (in French)
- Ministry of Culture photos
- Le Château de Joux' website (in French)
- The Louverture Project: Fort de Joux