Camping sur l’île d’Oléron » Non classifié(e) » Fort Louvois

Fort Louvois

Located in Bourcefranc-le-Chapus, at the foot of the bridge over the Ile d’Oléron, Fort Louvois, also known as Fort du Chapus, is a must-see site in the Marennes Oléron basin. Designed by Vauban, it’s Fort Boyard’s little brother! The tidal tour is only available at low tide. Free, commented or dramatized. You’ll discover the keep, the barracks, the food hall, the powder magazine, the guardhouse… Fort Louvois will reveal its secrets during unusual events such as apero-sunset, summer nights at the fort, historical meals… and will it be “France’s favorite monument” this year?


Fort Louvois is a 17ᵉ century maritime fortification built on a rock submerged at high tide, between the island of Oléron and the Marennes basin. It locks the southern access to Rochefort harbor.

Return of the tide in front of Fort Louvois. In the background, the bridge over the Ile d’Oléron.


Its construction, decided by Louvois, Louis XIV’s Minister of War, was carried out between 1691 and 1694 according to plans drawn up by Vauban.

The aim is to crossfire cannons with the Citadelle d’Oléron to defend the Rochefort naval arsenal. Designed in the shape of a horseshoe, with a central keep protected by a drawbridge and moat, it is reminiscent of medieval castles.

Armed with cannons and then howitzers in the XIXᵉ century, it retains a garrison and its military potential.

Classified as a historic monument since June 14, 1929, it was severely bombed during the Second World War when Marennes was liberated on September 10, 1944.

Bought from the Administration des Domaines by the commune of Bourcefranc-le-Chapus, it was completely restored in the 1960s.

Since 1972, Fort Louvois has housed the Musée de l’Huître (Oyster Museum ) and a permanent exhibition devoted to the fort’s history, including models of the fortifications along the Charente coast.

In 2010, during the Xynthia storm, the fort was flooded (80 cm of water) and the drawbridge ripped away, as it had been during the 1999 storm.