Bizarre Structure Sitting In The Atlantic Ocean Has An Even Stranger History

In 17th century France, Protecting the Country from the mighty English Naval fleets was paramount. However, this was difficult to.


In 17th century France, Protecting the Country from the mighty English Naval fleets was paramount. However, this was difficult to do when only the english channel separated the two lands which is a mere 20 miles wide at the shortest gap. One architect saw this as the perfect challenge, and he set off on a task that would take hundreds of years to accomplish. When it was done, it would be one of the finest examples of man’s ingenuity the world had ever seen. If you were to look at the ocean between Île d’Aix and Île d’Oléron in France you might just spot something that appears to be a very small floating castle. However, if you look a little bit closer you’ll see the truth. This small island castle is actually an ancient structure called Fort Boyard. Originally designed to guard and protect Charente and the harbor of Rochefort in France during the 17th century it’s quite the marvel. When it was first built the idea was that Fort Boyard would be a base for the French Army under Louis the XIV. They started the project in 1662, but it wasn’t long before the French figured out just how costly the construction of building something in the middle of the ocean really was. Ultimately, they gave up on the project but, it didn’t stay abandoned for ever. The King’s architect, known simply as Vauban, famously said that building Fort Boyard would be close to impossible. “Your Majesty, it would be easier to seize the moon with your teeth than attempt such an undertaking in such a place.” he declared emphatically. However, the half built fort still stayed on the minds of French military men as their battles with England continued. Finally in 1801 Napoléon Bonaparte resumed the project sure that Fort Boyard would be incredibly useful. Unfortunately, construction stopped about eight years later in 1809 because of the ever-present difficulties in building an artificial island that could support the entire structure. Work on the Fort did not start again until Louis Philippe became King of France in 1830. The workers hired to build the fort lived on temporary housing on the Île d’Oléron. Funny enough these temporary houses turned into permanent structures and eventually became established as the villages and Port of Boyardville. Later this village would become home to France’s naval academy. After centuries of construction Fort Boyard was finally completed in 1858. The finished walls made an intimidating oval measuring 330 feet by 160 feet. The ground floor of the fort was made up of the sleeping quarters and food storage, while the upper levels were designed for storing guns and cannons. While the fort might have looked relatively small, sitting on the sea, it could actually comfortably accommodate up to 250 men. Nevertheless, when the conflicts between the French and English cooled it looked like Fort Boyard was destined to decay. However, it gained a second life in the 1990s when the French reality TV show, Les Adventures, used the fort as its set. Given that it was a survivor style show about completing challenges and physical endurance tests, this isolated historical fort was the perfect location. Now it remains a marvelous testament to human grit and creativity. Isn’t this historic structure totally amazing? It’s crazy to think how long it took to build. Don’t you wonder what the original designers would think of the second life the fort is enjoying nowadays?

79 thoughts on “Bizarre Structure Sitting In The Atlantic Ocean Has An Even Stranger History”

  1. That it was a prison people en you can see it from the coast of ile d’oleron i have been there and it has a game show

  2. There was also a TV show based on this called "Fort Boyard", I used to watch it when I was younger.

    The thumbnail instantly reminded me of the show

  3. That's a similar building to the one on that kids TV show on CBBC, the one where they have to do thier challenges and earn keys

  4. If it WAS in the middle of the Atlantic, and it was a prison….. surrounded by sharks… = No chance of escape.
    Despair for the prisoner….

    Plot twist!
    Predator lands in the building. Both prisoners and guards work together to survive until next supply ship comes in….

  5. amazing feat of efford and skill to build it. but pritty pointless form of defence. ships can just sail far enuff away from it lol

  6. An ANCIENT structure from 17 Century!??? "In European historiography, Antiquity in Europe was considered closed with the fall of Rome, 476 AD. Generally, Antiquity does not go past the half of the first Millennium AD". Historic yes, ancient, Not even close!

  7. We were told in the 1990s that this would be mostly submerged under water by now due to global warming. Odd, it looks like the sea level hasn't risen much at all since the 1800s?

  8. Wow! It's too bad they aren't utilizing it in some way today. It would be a neat hotel or condos or mall or all of the above! That would be an amazing tourist attraction! Beautiful! It's amazing it is from the mid 1800s! The top could be a garden and have some livestock like chickens or Pig

  9. It’s an old fortress, ain’t it? Fort Boyard, And it currently serves as a Television Escape Room show. In sweden we call it ”Fångarna på Fortet”

  10. I remember that show it was incredible at the time. In the version of my country there were migets holding the keys and stuff it was hilarous.

  11. Imagine a world where door stoppers were not invented. Then imagine a smith who crafted the most beautiful sword ever in the world but found out that it could not be used in a fight cos is would break under the stresses of a battle, so he used it as a door stop. Is it still ingenuity or stupidity?

  12. It was been used by a uk tv company for a adult challenge gameshow and more recently a kids version of the same show for many years. The show is called fort boyard.

  13. pourquoi cette chaîne au nom français parle en anglais d'une structure connue mondialement comme d'une nouvelle découverte

  14. Omfg why am I watching this I should be watching a way to shut my fucking rabbit up it's 2 am and she won't stop fucking thumping keeps waking me up

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