The Citadel

The Citadel of Lille, a living military fortress still belonging to the French army and a true gem of Vauban's architectural legacy, is home to the 43rd Infantry Regiment. The structure, which is impressive in both its size and architecture, was designated a historic monument in 2012. The Citadel took nearly 2000 men, 60 million bricks, 3.3 million cinder blocks, and 1800 metres of sandstone to build and was finished in 1673.


Understand its significance in terms of security and defence:

It is a fascinating location to learn about layers upon layers of French history, from the Sun King to the presidents. A city within a city, the Citadel of Lille is encircled by bastions that form a five-pointed star. It is known as the 'Queen of the Citadels' because of its elegant, straightforward, yet incredibly powerful design.

According to Vauban, it was the best and most comprehensive in the kingdom. The Rapid Reaction Corps-France, a NATO-certified force, has its headquarters in the Citadel of Lille, which the French Army still uses. The Rapid Reaction Corps-France can command a component of between 5,000 and 60,000 people from 14 different countries.

Learn about the validation of the layout and adire the flora fauna:

Vauban increased the number of obstacles to slow down the enemy and give the troops time to reorganise because he knew that no fort is completely impenetrable. The area around the Citadel boasts 60 hectares of parkland, making it Lille's largest natural area and a haven for numerous plant and animal species. In keeping with the romantic gardens of the 19th century, more than 4,000 trees have been planted, representing more than 90 different species.

Explore the neighborhood:

The recently opened Cita Parc, an 8500 m2 family amusement park that will round out your day of fun with our electric boats and license-free activities but also with the Lille Zoo, also shares land with La Citadelle.

The zoo, founded in 1950 and situated at the Citadel's foot, now attracts more than 800,000 visitors annually. You will have the chance to interact with more than 100 animal species in its six thematic sections.

  • imageDuration Required
    2 hours

Address of The Citadel

Champ de Mars, 59800, Lille France

Opening & Closing time of The Citadel

  • Monday
    Open 24 Hours
  • Tuesday
    Open 24 Hours
  • Wednesday
    Open 24 Hours
  • Thursday
    Open 24 Hours
  • Friday
    Open 24 Hours
  • Saturday
    Open 24 Hours
  • Sunday
    Open 24 Hours

Explore More