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Saint Léger de Foucheret | Epiry towery | Bazoches castle| RememberingVauban



Saint Léger de Foucheret  became Saint Léger Vauban by imperial  ordinance on 7 décember 1867


Click on the picture to enlarge it 


Saint Léger de Foucheret (Yonne)


Sébastien Le Prestre, later to be known as Marquis of Vauban and a field marshal, was born in May 1633 to Urbain Le Prestre and Edme Cormignolle and baptised in Saint Léger de Foucheret church. The village was renamed Saint Léger Vauban after an imperial decree was issued by Napoléon III on December 7th 1867.


Vauban spent a simple, peaceful childhood among the children of the village. The priest of the village taught him to read and write.

At age 10, Vauban was sent to stay with a relative, the Abbé de Fontaine, near Montbard for further education. He is said to have attented the Carmes white friars college in Semur en Auxois where he was taught mathematics, drawing and fortification (a compulsory subject at that time in many schools). Vauban said later of himself in Abrégé des services that he was "rather good at mathematics and fortification" and "not too bad at drawing".

When he was 18, in 1651, he was introduced to the Prince of Condé, then the governor of Burgundy and the main leader of the Fronde (a rebellion of feudal lords and princes against the centralised royal power and prime minister Cardinal Mazarin). 

That is how the man, who was to become one of King Louis XIV 's most devoted and most highly appreciated servants, started his military career in the service of the rebels.


Epiry tower (Nièvre)


In 1660, Vauban married in Epiry Jeanne d'Osnay, a noble woman from the Morvan. They had three children : Charlotte (in 1661), Jeanne-Françoise (1678) and a son (in 1682 ) who died when 2 months old.

Today, the only trace of Vauban that remains in Epiry is the tower where the couple lived before buying the Bazoches castle.


La Tour d'Épiry Dessin de Denis AUGER (extrait du livre Vauban et le Morvan)

Epiry tower

Drawing by Denis AUGER (taken from  Vauban... et le Morvan)



Tour d'Epiry


Built at the begining of the XVth century, this powerful rectangular tower

belonged in the XVIIth century to the Le Peletier  d'Aunay family. 


Tour d'Epiry

Thanks to Mr Yves BÉZILLE. 


Bazoches (Nièvre)

In 1675, thanks to the money the King gave him after the taking of Maestricht, Vauban bought the Bazoches castle, a property that belonged to his great-grand-father, Count de la Ferrière. But he spent very little time there, as his role as chief military engineer took him all over the kingdom, to fortify its borders. However, in 1690, he spent a full year at the castle, recovering from the exhaustion of wars and his extensive travelling throughout France. 

There, he also wrote Les Oisivetés Leisures - a collection of 12 volumes, dealing with numerous and various subjects such as the colonies, forestry, rivers, waterways and religion), Project for a Royal tithe (tax) as well as the Geographical Description of the Vézelay district.


Le Château de Bazoches (Nièvre). Gravure d'E. Sadoux XXème

 Bazoches  castle (Nièvre).

 by E. Sadoux 20th century


Vauban died in Paris, on March 30th 1707 and was buried in Bazoches church, on April 16th. 

As was the custom then, his heart was buried separately under the church altar. 


Bulletin de décès de Vauban

Death certificate of Vauban


Eglise de Bazoches

Church of Bazoches

On Napoléon I 's order, it was removed from there, some 100 years later, in 1804, and taken to the Invalides in Paris, where it is now kept.

Remembering Vauban

Click on the pictures to enlarge them 


Statue de vauban par Bartholdi. AVALLON

In 1873, the town of Avallon erected a statue of Vauban in the main square. This statue is by Bartholdi, the same man who built the statue of Liberty in NYC.


Buste de Vauban. Eglise de Bazoches

In 1900, a bust of Vauban was carved to stand in front of the church of Bazoches.


Statue Vauban, place de St Léger Vauban

Eventually, in 1905, a statue by Anatole Guillot was erected in his home village, Saint Léger Vauban.


During the Second World War, an encampment of clandestine Resistance workers near Saint- Agnan, a little village next to Saint Léger, was named Maquis Vauban.


Vauban Portrait en pied de Vauban Angers, ecole d'application du génie Bust by Coysevox

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