During the 17th Century, France was in a war against England.
Their supreme goal is to protect their country from the mighty English Naval fleets. However, they had difficulty in doing so, because only the English channel separated the two lands which only extends to a mere 20 miles gap.
One Architect saw this as a challenge and he set off on a task that he never knew would take hundreds of years to accomplish. He envisioned that when the structure is done, it would be one of the finest examples of man’s ingenuity the world has ever seen.
Try to take a look at the ocean between Île-d’Aix and Île d’Oléron in France. You will notice something that appears to be a very small floating castle. However, if you look a little bit closer, you’ll see the truth.
What you thought to be a small island castle is an ancient structure called Fort Boyard. This was originally designed to guard and protect Charente and the harbor of Rochefort in France during the 17th century.
When Fort Boyard was first built, it was planned to be a base of the French Army under Louis the XIV. They started the project in 1662, but it wasn’t long before they figured out how costly it is to build a structure in the middle of the ocean.
Ultimately, they gave up on the project but, it didn’t stay abandoned forever.
The king’s architect, known as Vauban, famously said that Fort Boyard would be close to impossible. “Your majesty, It would be easier to seize the moon with your teeth than attempt such an undertaking in such a place,” he declared emphatically.
However, the half built port still stayed on the minds of French military men as their battles with England continued.
In 1801, Napoleon Bonaparte resumed the project. Unfortunately, the construction stopped 8 years later because of the ever present difficulty in building the structure.
The work of the Fort did not start again until Louis Philippe became King of France in 1830.
After centuries of construction, Fort Boyard was finally completed in 1858. Its finished walls extended up to 330 feet by 160 feet.
The ground floor was made up of the sleeping quarters and food storage, while the upper levels were used for storing guns and cannons. The fort could comfortably accommodate up to 250 men.
In the 1990s, the French reality TV show, Les Adventures, used the Fort as its set. The show was about completing challenges and physical endurance tests.
You may see it in google map by following this LINK.