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Google Earth Plug-in: La Redoute at Rivedoux-Plage

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Situated at the beginning of a long sandy strip moving forward in the direction of the continent, the Redoute of Rivedoux was built in 1673 on a strategic place. The building is a square with 45m-sides preceded with a deep, dry ditch and bordered by two revetments. The structure was designed to block the Isthmus of Sablanceaux while linking the North beach with the South beach. The Redoute of Rivedoux has modest dimensions but its history and architecture are exceptional.

In 1685, Vauban considered it the most important place of the island after Saint-Martin. This particular interest shown by the most famous engineer of Louis XIV can be explained by the memory of the landing of 9,000 to 10,000 English soldiers under the command of the Duke of Buckingham in July 1627. The soldiers took advantage of the two beautiful beaches of Sablanceaux and the anchorage of La Pallice to disembark on this island fought over by both kingdoms.

Built at the same time as another fortification at Portes-en-Ré and another one at Martray, the Redoute of Rivedoux is one of the best preserved fortifications in France. It contained about twelve pieces of artillery in the past. However, the vestiges of a powder magazine, two guardrooms and a well can still be admired.

It became obsolete in the 19th century. But, as it always provided a remarkable field of vision, the structure had been occupied and converted by the German army who installed a small garrison between 1941 and 1945.

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