And if Vauban had been a gardener


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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.



Place Abbatucci

Near my tree

“Lime trees… ATTEEEN-TION!” This is the Marshal speaking. The man who believes that parade grounds are designed to welcome soldiers and nothing but soldiers. No trees. But the garrison doesn’t exist anymore. So now it is up to Vauban the gardener… away with the parade ground! make room for trees! 

The Place Abbatucci, thanks to the elegant renovation in 2013, has now been honoured with a new generation of lime trees, true to its image since the garrison left during the 19th century. A little tip of the hat to History as I chose these lime trees in Germany, Tilia cordata ‘Rancho’, a summer-blossoming variety suited for urban environment. And if they order us to slow down, it’s just to better enjoy the shade and why not, even sit down on a bench and imagine what a military parade looked like at the time. At ease!

Vauban jardinier : illustration place Abbatucci

Histoiry

Portrait de VaubanSebastien le Prestre, marquis of Vauban

Marshal of France, Sébastien Le Prestre, Marquis of Vauban (1633-1707) is famous for his skills in architecture, as a military engineer, a town-planner and even a hydraulic engineer. He is less known for his human qualities which nevertheless were noticed by Voltaire who appreciated him for being “a model citizen, the only one perhaps who liked the State even more than himself.”

« I would prefer to keep a hundred of your majesty’s soldiers alive rather than kill a thousand on the enemy side »  Vauban to Louis XIV



Huningue, model of military engineering

In 1679, alerted by the unrelenting movements of enemy troops in the Basel region, Louis XIV ordered a defensive city wall to be built in Huningue to protect France from the invaders. The project was entrusted to Vauban who designed a pentagon-shaped fortification with five bastions and a bridgehead on the Rhine – allowing a garrison of 3500 men to be welcomed.

Launched in 1679 under the engineering management of Launois, the construction site was visited by the King in 1681 and was basically nearly finished in the following year!

Vauban affirmed that, the Huningue stronghold is essentially one of the most perfect in the kingdom (…) and I reckon that its garrison is more likely to succumb from mass soldier-fatigue than through fault in its fortification.”

Indeed, despite three sieges in 1796, 1814 and 1815, these fortifications were never taken until their destruction.

Plan de Huningue vers 1680

 

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