Building started under Napoleon Bonaparte in 1801 and was completed in 1857. Engineers Ferregeau and Armand Samuel de Marescot, and Vice-Admiral François Étienne de Rosily-Mesros designed a fort to be built on the bank. To facilitate the work, a port was established on île d’Oléron.

The project was suspended in 1809. Construction resumed in 1837, under Louis-Philippe, following renewed tensions with the United Kingdom. The fortifications were completed in 1857, with sufficient room for a garrison of 250 men.

Fort Boyard Has Been Used As The Location For The Filming Of Both The French And International Versions Of The TV Game Show Of The Same Name Since 1990 / Image source

After 1871, Fort Boyard was briefly used as a military prison, and abandoned in 1913, after which the unmaintained fort slowly deteriorated and crumbled into the sea. In 1950 it was made a listed building, and in 1961 was sold to Charente Maritime Regional Council.

Fort Boyard is stadium-shaped, 68 meters long and 31 meter wide. The walls were built 20 meter high. At the center is a yard, and the ground floor provided stores and quarters. The floor above contained case mates for the emplacements of guns and further quarters.

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