Découvrir Toul

Toul, fortified city

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Toul has been fortified since its very origins. And its location in between the confluence of the Moselle river and the Ingressin brook is no coincidence.

The inconveniences of this marshy area, in the delta of the Ingressin used to be a major defense in the event of aggression.

The town has developed all forms of defense. From the antique ramparts in the 3rd and 4th cent., completely reengineered and enlarged in the 13th cent. by bishop Roger de Marcey.

Toul is the only town in Lorraine that kept its town walls.
All through history, its features will be determined by the technical evolution of military architecture

Vauban drafted a plan for the ramparts with bastions. The new fortifications enlarge the town’s surface in the South-East and have three entrance gates.

Work starts in 1699 and finishes in 1712 ; only one half-moon defense system is built because Toul is situated only in the third defense line facing the enemy. The first barracks for the garrisons within the town walls were built in 1747 and 1784.

Only the entrance gate “Porte de Metz”, typical for the gates designed by Vauban, remains in its original state with its clever drawbridge system.
The Porte de France and Porte Moselle have been widened in the 20th cent.
Numerous barracks were built in the 18th and 19th cent. for the growing number of infantry and cavalry soldiers. The barracks are well integrated in the Vauban fortification and respect the functional aspects of the stronghold. These constructions became essential for keeping pace with the modern weapon technologies.

After the war in 1870, when the town was occupied by the Germans, the defense system in Toul became fortified by Séré de Rivières. He designed a belt of fortifications on the highest hills in the surroundings : this belt consists of organized and large polygonal half-buried fortifications to protect “la Trouée Lorraine”, “the Lorraine Gap” appreciated by the IIIrd Republic.

Nowadays, the town is proud of its ramparts which offer a familiar sight in the landscape of the city.

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More informations : http://www.lepredenancy.fr/en/discovery/our-vauban-and-sere-de-rivieres-fortifications.html