Fort Liberia is open even in this season! Take advantage of a winter getaway to (re)discover it.

The history of the city's guardian

Vauban accorded great importance to the defense of high grounds above a town, without which he felt that strongholds were worth nothing. The fort was built on a rocky spur overhanging on the side of the mountain in 1681. It ensured surveillance of the Têt valley and, with the ramparts of Villefranche formed impressive defense. It is situated 180 meters above the Têt, on the crest of the mountain of Belloch. The fort could accommodate a garrison of 50 to 100 men in times of peace and was autonomous in case of siege. The fortification closely fits the mountainous relief, it is a masterpiece of ingenious design.

Visitng the fort

This fortification could accommodate a garrison of 50 to 100 soldiers and its situation and accessibility are astonishing. It is built on three levels and has exceptional views over the valleys and the majestic Canigou from its rampart walkway. The watchtowers placed at each point of the stronghold are characteristic of Vauban’s work.
Inside there are barracks, a chapel and its crypt. The cistern that has a capacity of 70,000 liters ensured the garrison’s water needs. Between bastions and cannon ports, don’t miss the women’s prison where, under Louis XIV, the famous Lady Poisoners were imprisoned.

How can one conquer the fort? 

To access the fort from Villefranche de Conflent, you must take a pink marble underground staircase that is covered by a stone vaulted roof. The climb is worth the detour with a 180m ascent and 734 steps in total.
Vauban had always envisaged this undergrown staircase linking the fort to the town of Villefranche. However, the project was abandoned due to lack of finances. It was finished almost two hundred years later by Napoleon.

For those who are less sporty and who prefer to travel by car, transfers by 4x4 or minibus are organized from the village, by the fort owners and from the ‘Bar Le Canigou’. You can also access the fort on foot via a path and descend by the underground staircase after the visit. 

Practical information on Fort Liberia 


Direction Villeranche de Conflent.
Walk :

  • By the path passing by the yellow train station, bus parking on the left, payment on arrival at the fort. Possibility of going down by the underground. 
    Be careful, the passage between the entrance to the underground and the entrance to the path that goes up to Fort Liberia remains prohibited by prefectural decree.
  • By the underground of the 1000 steps, access by the Saint-Pierre bridge, from 10 a.m., payment at the entrance of the underground in cash only, more than 800 steps to climb so be careful not recommended for heart patients etc.

By 4x4 shuttle to take in front of the Canigou bar, payment when arriving at the fort.

  • On foot, adult: € 7. Reduced rate: € 6 / child between
  • 5 and 11 years old: € 4.50 /
  • free for children under 5
  • By shuttle: 13 € adult and 10 € reduced / 6 € child from 5 to 11 years old / free for children under 5


Regular guided tours or free visits only on summer. The fort restaurant offers refreshments.

- July-August: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. non-stop
- May-June: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. non-stop
- January - February : 10 a.m to 4 p.m, non-stop
- Other periods: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. non-stop


Tel: + 33 (0)4 68 96 34 01