|Located in a sea bay between Aix and Oléron Island (La Rochelle, France), Fort Boyard is a stone building conceived as an artificial island, originally built to protect the harbours of Aix Island (Île-d’Aix) and Rochefort. Due to the limited ballistic artillery range in the late 17th century, the site was seen as a gap in the line of defense which the fort should have filled. Building started in 1801 and was completed in 1857. Fort Boyard is oval-shaped, 68 metres (223 ft) long and 31 m (102 ft) wide. The walls were built 20 m (66 ft) high. At the centre is a yard, and the ground floor provided stores and quarters for the men and officers. The floor above contained casemates for the emplacements of guns and further quarters. Above that were facilities for barbette guns and mortars.
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