For many centuries, the Brest harbour has attracted the lusts of invaders.
As early as the Middle Ages, protective posts were therefore set up on the coast to control its entry.
The most efficient of them is Bertheaume, a rocky islet located thirty metres from the shore in Plougonvelin.
37 metres high, the fort of Bertheaume was built around 1690, at the request of Louis XIV, to protect Brest during the war of the Augsburg League.
Vauban then installed three guns and two mortars on the upper platform of the islet to control Bertheaume Cove, where all ships entering or leaving Brest harbour still pass today.
Wise decision: in June 1694, an English fleet attacked, but was greeted by a flood of bombs from the fort, which was enough to repel it.
Bertheaume's usefulness was no longer in doubt, and Vauban's successors continued his work in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Barracks, powder magazines and a surrounding wall were first installed before the fort, then only accessible at low tide, was equipped with a footbridge in 1835, then with casemates some fifty years later.
These improvements unfortunately turned against local interests, since German troops made Bertheaume, from 1940 to 1944, one of their points of support at the Atlantic Wall.
The liberation of the islet in September 1944 marked the end of its military use: it remained abandoned for more than forty years before being bought back in 1990 by the municipality of Plougonvelin,
which opened it to visitors and regularly organised exhibitions and sound and light shows retracing its history.
Two zip lines and a climbing course have even been set up on the site: an opportunity to combine history and adventure!
Pictures taken by me on july 2016