Citadelle Laferrière

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View from the roof of the Citadelle Laferrière
Haitian stamp depicting the Citadelle.
The Citadelle Laferrière (also La Citadelle) is a massive stone fortress in northern Haiti approximately 27 km (17 miles) south of Cap Haïtien, was built under the direction of Henri Christophe. Built by between 1805 and 1820 as part of a system of fortifications designed to keep the newly-independent nation of Haiti safe from French attempts to re-establish slavery.

The Citadelle Laferrière was built several miles inland, and atop the 914 m (3,000 ft) Bonnet a L’Eveque, in order to deter attack and to provide a lookout into numerous nearby valleys. It is possible to view Cap-Haïtien and the adjoining Caribbean Sea from the roof of the fortress. On clear days it is said that Cuba, the neighboring island to the West, can be seen.

The Citadelle is situated 8 km (5 miles) uphill from Milot, the town of Henri Christophe's Sans-Souci palace. It is the largest fortress in the western hemisphere, and in 1980, UNESCO launched an international safeguarding campaign for the monuments and sites of Haiti primarily to maintain Citadelle Laferrière for future generations.

Citadelle Laferrière is known for the imposing bulk of its geometrical structure and as a symbol of emancipation of black slaves and it remains a popular destination for visitors.


  • Wikipedia contributors (2006). Citadelle Laferrière. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 05:01, February 27, 2006 [1].

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