Citadelle de Bitche

Useful Information

Location: Bitche
Open: Last Sat in MAR to JUN Mon-Sat 10-17, Sat 10-18.
JUL to AUG daily 10-18.
SEP to first Sun in NOV Mon-Sat 10-17, Sat 10-18.
Fee: MAR to APR and OCT tro NOV: Adults EUR 8, Children (8-18) EUR 6, Children (0-7) free, Students EUR 6, Family (2+2) EUR 23.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 6.
End-APR to early OCT. prices include the Jardin pour la Paix: Adults EUR 9, Children (8-18) EUR 7, Children (0-7) free, Students EUR 7, Family (2+2) EUR 27.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 7.
Classification: SubterraneaCasemates
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:  
Address: Citadelle de Bitche, 31 rue du Mal Foch, 57230 Bitche, Tel: +33-387-961882, Fax: +33-387-961178. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1297 chosen as seat of government by Eberhardt II, Graf von Zweibrücken.
1606 transformed int a fortified castle by Karl III, Herzog von Lothringen.
1634 captured by the French during the 30 Years War.
1681 start of construction by Vauban.
1683 completed.
1697 Lothringen returned to Herzog Leopold by the peace of Rijswijk, fortress destroyed by the leaving French.
1741 rebuilt.
1754 completed.


The Citadelle de Bitche was built by the most important architet of castles, Vauban, between 1681 and 1683. It was destoyed a few years later and rebuilt between 1740 and 1754. Now it finally was considered an impregnable fortress, a masterpiece of French military art. The central platform is flanked by four bastions and by two heads which are an result of the elongated hill, the demi-lune or small head to the southwest and the corner construction or large head to the northeast.

The reason why this fort is listed on are the underground casemates. They give an impression of the importance of the fort, with enormous bunkers, one of the loveliest wells in Europe, a cowshed, and an underground hospital. Even the kitchen and the bakery are bomb proof and cut out of solid rock. Today there is an impressive audiovisual tour through the casemates which includes 12 films and numerous sound explanations. The tour takes about one hour and warm clothes are recommended for the cool subterranea.