An exceptional historic site due to its state of preservation and the priceless testimony it represents, the Royal Bastion is an essential site in the history of our region.
To discover it, several guided tours are organized throughout the year by the Cultural and Historical Association of Ardres, especially in summer and during the weekend of Heritage Days. These tours for individuals are free.
For groups of more than 10 people, it is possible to make a specific request outside these dates, directly by email to the association.
During the Renaissance, Ardres was the northernmost citadel of the kingdom of France. Beyond the northern border, Calais is in English hands and to the south-west, Saint-Omer belongs to the Spanish. This border situation, as well as the rivalries between the different kingdoms, quickly made François 1er aware of the interest in strengthening the city.
Six bastions were built between around 1535 and 1540, in order to consolidate the medieval fortifications: the Royal Bastion is one of them. Probably the first to have been built, it has a very specific architecture, testimony to advanced Renaissance technology.
The Royal Bastion is the only vestige of the city walls. Miraculously preserved in the public garden adjoining the town hall, it bears witness to the Renaissance, the technical progress made at that time, and the importance of the city of Ardres in relation to the surrounding occupied land.
This site thus benefits from a classification as historical monuments, it is thus protected with regard to the interest it presents on a national scale.
It is, along with the underground granaries, one of the most astonishing and interesting sites in the area.