© Drone De Regard

Sospel forts

The Bévéra Valley runs from Col de Turini to the medieval village of Sospel. Due to its strategic position, countless Maginot structures were built as part of the “Alpes Maritimes Fortified Sector” military programme. The buildings played a decisive role by pushing the Italian offensive back in June 1940. A defensive system made up of the Barbonnet, Agaisen and Saint-Roch forts was built in the valley in the 19th and 20th century.

Suchet or

Barbonnet Fort

There are two forts on Mont Barbonnet. Suchet Fort was built at the top between 1883 and 1886 in the same context as the Authion one. A Maginot-style fort was built into the mountainside further down between 1931 and 1935 to strengthen the site’s defensive system.

It’s very discreet so it’s a surprise to see how big it is once you get there. It feels like a castle as you take moat-like paths to get there.

Nature has taken over here. The total silence reigning over the site makes you feel like you’re in another world. Graffiti in the barracks proves that there were actually soldiers here and they give the fort a touch of magic.

 

The Séré de Rivières system

Following the 1870 defeat, General Séré de Rivières (nicknamed the 19th century Vauban) put forward a new fortification plan to protect the borders. New shells and explosives cast doubt on the system in the 1880s.

Monte Grosso Fort

in local history

It’s the cornerstone of the area’s fortified zone and the biggest structure on the south-east border. It was built between 1931 and 1935. It overlooks the Sospel road, Tende road, Col de Brouis and Col du Pérus from an altitude of 1000m. It had a defensive position between Authion and Agaisen. The mixed material structure is currently under renovation and played an active role in the June 1940 offensive.

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