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The Citadelle Laferrière One of the Most Amazing Fortresses In The World

The Citadelle Henri Christophe at 3,000 feet atop the Bonnet-a-l'Eveque mountain outside Cap-Haitien

Located at 18 miles South-East from the city port Cap-haitien, and at approximately 3,000 feet atop the Bonnet-à-l'Evêque slope and the mountain peak of Lafferière, the Citadelle Laferriere known as Citadelle Henri Christophe is considered as a cyclopean task as well as one of the most extraordinary wonders of our time.


A monument dedicated to humanity’s great ingenuity, it was built under the command of king Henri Christophe as a military defense to protect the newly-independent republic of Haiti against any French incursions.

The French never returned, so the Citadelle Fortress has never been used. Covering an area of ​​approximately 108,000 square feet, this amazing structure is composed of four angular towers, which are interconnected to form an irregular quadrilateral enclosing a huge military square. This gigantic fortress was designed with walls over 13 feet thick and 131 feet tall. It holds an array of cannons as well as enormous stockpiles of cannon balls inside and out. It took 15 years to complete and the efforts of 20,000 people. It contains the largest concentration of 18th century artillery in the  world.

Haiti's Hidden Treasures

DVD Documentary

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Haiti's Hidden Treasures

DVD Documentary

Part II: $20.00

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Visitors overwhelmed by the feeling of history of this massive stone structure erected on the abrupt slope of the mountain dominating the nearby valleys and the Atlantic ocean, have the option to walk all way up to the Citadelle (45 minutes) in the midst of a rich tropical environment or ride a horse with a guide to discover Haiti's legendary fortress. Once they reach the Citadelle and stretch to the roof, they can quickly acknowledge a powerful and historical heritage where one man's dream Henri Christophe emerged forever as a universal symbol of freedom and the recognition of an entire human race. The immense stone dream of King Christophe still dominates the bay of l'Acul, the very same bay where Santa Maria, the private caravel of Columbus wrecked way before the Citadel was built.


The structure of the Citadelle is so impressive with its massive and invincible walls that one could envision the ambition of a king who wanted to emphasize his victory over the despicable colonial past and the total rupture with slavery. The Citadelle featured special rooms for the king, dungeons, bakeries, bathing facilities, and could hold food stocks for 5000 people for one year. Furthermore, it was designed with 8 military units, gunpowder rooms, barracks, underground reservoirs, galleries, stores, and stairs up to 5 levels. This titanic construction with its sheer beauty remained unfinished at Henri Christophe's death who shot itself as he became paralyzed after a stroke. He was buried in the Citadelle and an inscription was designed in one of the fortress courtyards: "Here lies Henri Christophe, King of Haiti, I am reborn from my ashes."

Numerous cannon balls stockpiled outside the citadelle

Aligned cannons inside one of the citadelle's galleries

The Citadelle Fortress has been restored from 1977 to 1990 with help from UNESCO and the World Monuments Fund. It has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982 along with the Sans-Souci Palace. Becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in Haiti, the Citadelle Henri Christophe is a must-see and stays for all to admire.


You can indeed experience it through the awe-inspiring dvd documentary of Patrick Dorsainvil Haiti's Hidden Treasures II or book a vacation through Cap-Haitien affordable hotels.


Last update 07/06/2014

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