Built in 1625 on the island of Re, Fort de la Pree
protects an anchorage on the eastern end of the island. It is
also near the crossing point to the mainland and helped maintain royal
control over the island, which had significant Protestant sympathies.
Originally featuring an envelope - an outwork enclosing the
entire fort, Vauban had this feature demolished. He had barracks
built on the sea face. Among the fort's other faults were a
cramped interior and inadequate water supply. During the 1627
siege of nearby Saint-Martin, the French relief force was based from
Fort de la Pree. Flawed as it was, combined with Saint-Martin and other works, the island of Re was adequately protected.
Vauban was highly critical of the fort. The bastions are much
larger than the curtains between them, and the curtains are rounded
rather than straight - combining curtains with the flanks of
the adjacent bastions. As a result, the faces of the bastions are
not properly covered with fire.
Since the fort was closed at the time of my visit, and since the tide
was not at its peak, let's walk along the shore. Here you can see
a battery that covers the entrance to a basin.
This is the view from the corner of this battery. At the far
right you can see the wall projecting out to where the fort's long sea
face outwork begins. Let's retrace our steps to the basin.
The area for boats is fascinating and beautiful. Stairs lead down
to the basin, and a sluice allows sea water to enter the ditch around
the fort. You can see one of the fort's bastions in the
background. Some of the fort's outworks can be seen at center and
right. (with plenty of distortion) A a closer-in outwork is
higher than, and dominates, the lower battery further from the center
of the fort that covers the basin entrance.
Returning to dry land and walking around to the other side of
the fort, you can see the side of the seafront outworks along with the
ditch that separates it from the main fort.