We arrived at the little town that sits at the base of the mountain on which the Citadel resides. We drove up to the parking lot in front of the Sans-Souci Palace where Henri Christophe lived. We parked and were greeted with MANY men who wanted to be our guides and help us up to the Citadel. We visited the information booth and purchased entry tickets, but declined a guide ($60 US for a guide!). We drove up an exceptionally steep hill to the second parking lot. Parked and paid a guy to guard our car, declined handmade trinkets from many women, found a guide and walked up a slippery stone path for about twenty minutes until we reached the Citadel.
It was a very foggy day with low hanging clouds so the large fortress almost popped up in front of us. The fog gave the fortress an eerie look which was kind of pleasant, but I would like to go back again so that I can see the amazing view of the surrounding mountains. We read somewhere that on a clear day you can see the coast of Cuba, 90 miles away, from the Citadel.
Here is a photo journal of our visit around the Citadel....
|Nathaniel, Josiah, and Jill doing their "tough" faces.|
|Outside the Citadel.|
|There are 365 cannons at the Citadel.|
|Each of the cannons had a different design etched on them.|
|This area held the gunpowder.|
|Lots of cannonballs.|
|Even more cannonballs!|
|Great friends to travel with!|
From L to R: Josiah, Nathaniel, Me, Jill, Kellyanne, Wilson
|View of the surrounding mountains on the hike down.|
- Is is the largest fortress in the Americas and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Was built as part of a fortification system along with Fort Jacques and Fort Alexandre
- Was built by 20,000 workers between 1805-1820
- Built as defense against a possible French invasion which never happened
- Walls of the for tree rise up 130 feet and the entire complex covers an area of 108,000 square feet
- The stones were fastened with a mortar mixture that included quicklime, molasses, and the blood of local cows and goats
- Large cisterns and storehouses were designed to store enough food and water for 5,000 defenders for up to one year