Rendez-vous at The Fort and the battery of Ayvelles
The Fort of Ayvelles, or Fort Dubois-Crancé, was built as part of the Séré de Rivières system of fortifications, and was finished in 1878. Built close to Charleville-Mézières, it had to control the valley of the Meuse and the railway network.
From 1899, it was reduced in status because the arrival of high-explosive artillery shells rendered its masonry obsolete. During World War I, due to its reduced armaments, the fort was not able to defend itself: in August, 1914, it was evacuated and captured by the Germans who occupied it until 1918. The fort was then abandoned and fell into neglect. It has since been restored and is today open to the public.
The visit will take you back into the period from 1870 to 1918. It includes a marvellous tour lasting about two hours, during which visitors see the large gunpowder magazine, armoured bunker and many other wondrous displays.