Fort d’Uxegney

Useful Information

Location: Rue des Forts, 88390 Uxegney.
(48.2014909, 6.3841719)
Open: MAY Sun, Hol 15.
JUN Sun 14:30, 16:30.
JUL to AUG Mon-Sat 14, 16, Sun 14:30, 16:30.
SEP Sun 14:30, 16:30.
Fee: Adults EUR 7, Children (7-14) EUR 3, Children (0-6) free.
Groups (15+): Adults EUR 6, Children (7-14) EUR 2.50.
Train alone: Adults EUR 4, Children (7-14) EUR 2.50, Children (0-6) free.
Combo Train and Fort: Adults EUR 10, Children (7-14) EUR 5, Children (0-6) free.
Classification: SubterraneaCasemate TopicRoute des Fortifications Européenes
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: D=2 h.
Train ride: D=45 min.
Photography: not allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Fort d’Uxegney, Rue des Forts, 88390 Uxegney.
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.


1874 Séré de Rivières project decreed.
1893 first reinforcements with a pour of special concrete.
1884-1885 Bois l'Abbé fort built.
1885 Séré de Rivières project completed.
1910 second phase of reinforcements completely transformed the fort.
1944 returned by the Germans almost intact.
1960s used as an ammunition depot.
22-NOV-1989 non-profit Association pour la Restauration du Fort D'Uxegney et de la Place D'Epinal (ARFUPE) founded.
APR-2002 forts of Uxegney and Bois-l'Abbé included in the supplementary inventory of Historic Monuments.


Fort d’Uxegney (Fort Uxegney) is maintained by the non-profit Association pour la Restauration du Fort D'Uxegney et de la Place D'Epinal (ARFUPE). It is part of the little-known defense complex Séré de Rivières, which was built from 1874 to 1914. Like the older bastioned fortifications of Vauban and the younger buried fortification of the Maginot Line it was an attempt to protect France against enemies, also known as Germans. After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 both countries started to defend their new borders. On the French side, the task was entrusted to General Polytechnician Séré de Rivières (*1815-✝1895). The idea was to prevent an invasion through deterrence, and if an attack took place, to delay it while mobilizing. He planned a row of forts placed on dominant points of the terrain and troops patrolling the gaps.

In a way, the system was less based on the massive fortifications, the defense was discontinuous and the gaps between the "defensive curtains" were traps. The lack of forts was intended to attract the enemy so that they can be cornered. Unfortunately, a technical revolution in artillery occurred in 1885, the same year the Séré de Rivières project was completed, the “torpedo shell” crisis. The forts were built in masonry, and their cannons were in the open air behind parapets. But the new shells were loaded with melinite, a powerful explosive, and so the old forts lost all resistance. But most of the money was already spent, and so only the four most important places, Verdun, Toul, Epinal, and Belfort, were modernized.

Fort d'Uxegney is one of the sixteen forts on Place d'Epinal, built after the original plans by Séré de Rivières. It had the mission of controlling the Epinal-Mirecourt axis, the Epinal-Nancy railway and the Canal de l'Est. It was modernized in several stages, special concrete, reinforced concrete and armoring. It survived the two World Wars.

The nearby Fort de Bois-l'Abbé, about 1.2 km to the east. It was not reniforced and thus it shows the original state of forts according to Séré de Rivières, although it was actually not planned by him. It is open only on special days. On those days its possible to visit both forts with one tour, the visitors are transported between the forts with one of the narrow gauge trains which were used underground. As far as we know those special days are one Friday in July and the European Heritage Days in September.

We have listed this fort, although it is not really underground, because it has numerous bunker-like semi-underground parts. The defenses Séré de Rivières, had very little use for underground structures, but this changed drastically with the new weapons. So this site actually marks the border in military history, and it is also a good example, how underground structures were added. We have no special term for this, so we classified it as a casemate, which is the more general term for all such structures.