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St. Amand Sluice Bridge

St. Amand Sluice Bridge

A river water defence system was built by Vauban between 1680 and 1687 to protect the southern side of Verdun and make it impassable and impossible for attackers to enter.

History

St. Amand Sluice Bridge

The system Vauban created is in fact a set of mechanisms which make it possible to deliberately cause a flood by holding back the waters of Verdun. Three sluice bridges blocking the three branches of the Meuse were constructed, including the St. Amand sluice bridge across the St. Vanne Canal, the St. Nicolas sluice bridge across the main course of the Meuse and the St. Airy sluice bridge over the St. Airy Canal. In addition to these sluice bridges three sluice gates were also put in place which were essential for opening and closing them.

Today

Nowadays, only the St. Amand sluice gate remains fully intact.
The only one of its kind in France, it is also the only one to still have its operations house complete with its entire mechanism. It really is a superb example of how water was cleverly used to defend the city and, as a result, was listed as a historic monument on 13th December 1978.
Major works were carried out at the site between 2009 and 2011 for the purposes of preserving the building, including the complete restoration of the framework, the addition of new beams and the insertion of dormer windows to give the framework back its original appearance. Slate tiles were also laid to recreate the roofing and even the road outside was entirely redone to ensure the approach to the building resembled its original state.