Fort of Ratonneau – Marseille, France - Atlas Obscura

Fort of Ratonneau

A crumbling island fortress that seems to be covered in a field of stone crosses but is simply incomplete. 


Jutting out of the small French island of Ratonneau is what appears to be a cemetery resting on the top of some ruins, but the field of crosses at this fort are simply the product of unfinished construction. 

While construction of the fort began in 1886, the Fort of Ratonneau did not grow to its current size until the 1940’s when German forces determined to turn the stone outpost into a heavy artillery emplacement. The Germans expanded the structure outward and upward creating placements for massive barrel guns and other defenses. However, the aspect that gives the place its iconic look are the exposed support struts of what was to become an ammunition shelter.  The concrete pillars are shaped like crosses and jut out of the structure like an industrial Golgotha. The abandoned fort may look like a burial site, but the only things that lie dead at this site are German military ambitions.   

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