Antiqua Print Gallery Fort Mont-Valérien
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Fort Mont-Valérien

Fort Mont-Valérien (Fort du mont Valérien or simply Mont-Valérien) is a fortress in Suresnes a western Paris suburb, built in 1841 as part of the city's ring of modern fortifications. It overlooks the Bois de Boulogne.


The fortress defended Paris during the Franco-Prussian War, and remained the strongest fortress protecting the city, withstanding artillery bombardments that lasted several months. The surrender of the fortress was one of the main clauses of the armistice signed by the Government of National Defense with Otto von Bismarck on 17 January 1871, allowing the Germans to occupy the strongest part of Paris' defences in exchange for shipments of food into the starving city.
Colonel Henry of army intelligence, a key player in the Dreyfus Affair, was confined at the prison of Mont-Valérien in 1898. The day after being confined, 31 August 1898, he cut his throat with a razor that had been left in his possession, taking to the grave his secret and that of a great part of the affaire Dreyfus. (See Resolution of the Dreyfus Affair.)
During the Second World War, the fortress was used, from 1940 to 1944, as a prison by the Nazi occupiers of Paris, and it was used for executions. The Germans brought prisoners here in trucks from other locations. The prisoners were temporarily confined in an disused chapel, and they were later taken to be shot in a clearing a hundred metres away. The bodies were then buried in various cemeteries in the Paris area.

(Source Wikipedia)