After the defeat of 1870, the French Republic gave General Séré de Rivières the task of urgently building a new system of fortifications to protect its borders. The Seclin fortress thus forms part of Lille's defensive belt and became a logistical stronghold during the First World War. It is the only fort of the Lille belt that has remained intact for the last 140 years. Inside, you'll find a museum exhibiting many pieces of artillery and horse-drawn vehicles telling the tale of World War 1. Particular focus is placed on the story of Achille Deffontaines, the youngest General of France and the first general to be killed at the Front, in August 1914 at the head of his Brigade.
Designed by General Séré de Rivières to defend the Belgian border, Seclin Fort is one of nineteen fortifications which were built around the city of Lille after the defeat of 1871. Seclin never saw action because Lille was declared an 'open city' on 1 August 1914 and subsequently occupied by the Germans in October later that year. Patiently restored by the Boniface Family since 1996, Seclin Fort is today home to the Artillery Museum.