THE KINGDOM OF THIS WORLD
Citadel La Ferriere (page 119)
The Citadel La Ferriere was built by King Henri Christophe between the years 1805 and 1820, for the purpose of being able to resist an attack by the French. It is thought that the Citadel la Ferriere was designed by Etienne Henry Barré with the literal meaning of la Ferriere being the blacksmith's pouch. Built with the forced labor of 20,000 newly “freed” slaves of Haiti, this monumental fortress sits on almost 20 acres of land, 17 miles south of Cap-Haitien.
The Citadel is located at an altitude of 900 meters and is on top of the mountain called Bonnet a L’Eveque. The military compound is 10,000 square meters in size and, in some places, has walls that are up to 40 meters in height, and up to 4 meters thick. Armed with 365 cannon, the enormous size can be explained by the fact that it was considered to be the administrative capital of Haiti and included a printing shop, garment factories, a hospital, schools, a distillery, a chapel, and military barracks. It was also built to hold King Henri’s royal family and up to 5,000 soldiers for a year if the French had ever attacked.
The Citadel was never tested in battle, however, because King Henri died, and the French never tried to invade again. Therefore, “the fortress lies in eternal wait with the cannonballs still piled up intact,” and is now a historical monument.
For more information, go to:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citadelle_Laferri%C3%A8re (with more pictures)
For more pictures of the Citadel, and other historic sites in Haiti, go to: