And if Vauban had been a gardener

Deutsch Français

Clou de jalonnement circuit Vauban


From garden to garden, these marker studs show us the way to go, with the Place Abbatucci as a start and finish point.

Parc de la Pyramide

Made of trees

I closely followed the building, improvement and maintenance of the stronghold down to the smallest detail, with the same diligence that I use today to preserve the trees and check their phytosanitary condition. My new occupations lead me to carefully check each one from the top to the bottom. Sadly, I must sometimes pronounce a fatal diagnosis for one of these beauties which can be in the prime of life.

It always breaks my heart to see one of my comrades fall, whether they are on the side or standing alone. But rather than bestowing a posthumous medal, I quickly replant a young shoot to perpetuate the tree-filled soul of our city.

Vauban jardinier : illustration Parc de la Pyramide


The great defenders of Huningue

1796, 1814 and 1815: the strong hold was besieged three times, under the command successively of General Abbatucci, Colonel Chancel and General Barbanègre.

Abbatucci the brave

Portrait de Jean Charles Abbatucci (1770-1796)In June 1796, the command of Huningue was entrusted to a young brigadier general Jean Charles Abbatucci (1770-1796), already recognised for his brilliant feats of arms. Being that Huningue was a strategic gateway to France in Upper Alsace, the stronghold was quickly besieged by the Austrians. The general and his men resisted to thousands of assailants. Attempting a daring outing during the night of November 30 to December 1, the bloody battle continued with hand-to-hand combat. Fatally injured while defending the bridgehead, General Abbatucci died on December 2 at the age of 26.

A first monument honouring the memory of this Corse-born general from Zicavo, was built in 1801. Destroyed by the Basel population in 1816, it was rebuilt in 1830. It has sat in the centre of the Place Abbatucci since 1904, and was restored in 2013.

+ L'histoire du monument Abbatucci

Chancel the resistant

Portrait de Jean Hugues Chancel (1766-1834)In December 1813, the colonel Jean-Hugues Chancel (1766-1834), commanding officer of the stronghold, refused the advantages offered by the Austrians in exchange for handing over this fortress. The enemy troops therefore attacked Huningue which courageously retaliated for three months.

This is the least known, but the longest and most horrendous of the three sieges suffered by the fortress.

Barbanegre the hero

Portrait de Joseph Barbanègre (1772-1830)In 1815, the mission of General Joseph Barbanègre (1772-1830) was to defend Huningue without complying to the summons of this adversary, the Archduke John of Austria. At this point the stronghold was lacking in both supplies and men. For two months and with only 135 able-men, he resisted to the enemy assaults boasting over 20,000 men and their destructive bombings. He only surrendered after 12 days of trench combat and the abdication of Napoleon I, and was awarded all the battle honours.

The capitulation of the fifty or so heroic survivors, led by General Barbanègre, was immortalised around 1892 by the painter Edouard Detaille. Today the original painting can be seen at the Sénat in Paris.

Tableau d'Édouard Detaille : Sortie de la garnison de Huningue le 20 août 1815

Surrender of the Huningue garrison on August 20, 1815 – Edouard Detaille
Pictures gallery