Briançon and Mont-Dauphin: World Heritage - The universal value of Vauban’s work
The major sites of vauban
On July 7, 2008, twelve sites fortified by Vauban, considered the most representative of his work and the best preserved, are inscribed on the World Heritage List: Besançon, Briançon, Mont-Dauphin, Villefranche de Conflent, Mont-Louis, Blaye/ Cussac Fort-Médoc, Saint-Martin de Ré, Camaret- sur-mer, Saint-Vaast la Hougue, Arras, Longwy, Neuf-Brisach. Created in November 2005, the Vauban Major Sites Network is an association law 1901 that federates these twelve fortified sites. For Briançon, this concerns more precisely the urban area, the forts of Salettes, Trois-Têtes, Randouillet and Dauphin, the Y communication and the Asfeld bridge; for Mont-Dauphin the whole of the stronghold.
Criteria for World Heritage Designation
Criterion (I): Vauban’s achievements bear witness to the heyday of the classical bastioned fortification, typical of modern Western military architecture.
Criterion (II): Vauban’s share in the history of the fortification is major. The imitation of his models-types of military buildings in Europe and on the American continent, the diffusion in Russian and Turkish of his theoretical thought as the use of the forms of his fortification as a model for fortresses of Extreme- Orient, testify to the universality of his work.
Criterion (IV): Vauban’s work illustrates a significant period in human history. It is a work of the mind that has been applied to military strategy, architecture and construction, civil engineering and economic and social organization.
The inscription on the World Heritage List serves as a catalyst for raising awareness among governments and people about heritage preservation. Increased awareness in turn leads to greater consideration and improvement of the level of protection and conservation. Site managers and local authorities work together to manage, monitor and preserve World Heritage properties.
Site Management Plan
The challenge for World Heritage sites is, above all, their protection, but also their management, which makes it possible to recast a methodology of work between the State, guarantor of the outstanding universal value with UNESCO, and the managers. Each asset benefits from a management plan that defines the means to be implemented to ensure the preservation of its outstanding universal value. This management system must ensure the effective protection of the good for present and future generations.
Vauban’s work constitutes a major contribution to universal military architecture. It crystallizes previous strategic theories into a system of rational fortifications based on a concrete relationship to the territory. It testifies to the evolution of European fortification in the XVIIe century and produced models used worldwide until the middle of the XIXe century, illustrating a significant period in history.
Extract from the declaration of the "Outstanding Universal Value"
World Heritage List includes 981 properties in 2013 (193 natural, 759 cultural, 29 mixed) of which 38 are in France (3 natural, 34 cultural, 1 mixed). Four of these cultural properties are in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region:
- Arles, Roman monuments and novels (1981)
- Ancient Theatre and its surroundings and Orange’s "Arc de Triomphe" (1981);
- Historic Centre of Avignon: Popes' Palace, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge (1995)
- Fortifications of Vauban (2008)