Blaye is located in Aquitaine in south-western France on the Gironde estuary. Blaye is the site of a magnificent and imposing citadel, built by Vaubin which overhangs the Estuary and affords magnificent panoramic views over the Gironde. Inside are the ruins of an old Gothic chateau which contains the tomb of Charibert II, king of Aquitaine, and son of Clotaire II. Blaye is also defended by the Fort Pate on an island in the river and the Fort Medoc on its left bank, both from the 17th century. From here you can also visit the village of Bourg, built on a rocky outcrop enclosed by medieval ramparts.
In ancient times Blaye (Blavia) was a port of the Santones. Tradition states that the Frankish hero Roland was buried in its basilica, which was on the site of the citadel. It was early an important stronghold which played an important part in the wars against the English (who burnt it in 1352) and the French Wars of Religion (when it was the site of a Spanish naval victory in 1593). The duchess of Berry was imprisoned in its fortress in 1832-1833.
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