[ May 2016 ] After getting off the boat which went down the Garonne River in France, we visited Medoc Fort. This is the 17th century fortress and one of the 12 Vauban Fortresses which are the Unesco World Heritage. Vauban is a military engineer who worked for Sun King, Louis the 14th, and he was the expert for making fortresses. He built three fortresses around here to protect this wide estuary whose width is up to more than 3km from the British invasion. We saw some remained buildings briefly in the relaxing countryside atmosphere, so I could not imagine any danger or battle, though.
The guide said “protection against British”, but this region had been a part of England for a long time before France won the Hundred Years’ War in the 14th and 15th centuries. And the wine industry here was treated very well by British, so the people here were apparently very disappointed by the victory of France, which was determined by the fall of Bordeaux. Maybe that is why many British people retire not far from here, up along the Dordogne river which merges with Garonne.
But before the Hundred Years’ War, there was a Norman Conquest in 1066 when Norman people in France captured England and built a new kingdom. So Hundred Years’ War is in a way a war fought by French against French? And now, Britain decided to leave European Union, saying “we are not European”. How ridiculous is that!