The Bitche Citadel (Citadelle de Bitche) is an impressive defensive structure that sits atop a longf ridge of red sandstone. The first records of a stronghold date from 1172 and the footprint of the current fortress date from Vauban whise works date from the 17th century.
The fortress resisted a long siege during the Franco Prussian War in 1870 when it resisted the onslaught of a much larger Gernman force. The town bacame part of Germany as part of Alsace-Lorraine until the end of World War I when it once again became French. Hiustory repeated itself in 1940 when Germany occuopied the fort until the end of World War II. The site was used as part of the Cold War for training and manouevres and today the impressive site is a museum.
The citadel’s underground structures inckluded ammunition stores, barracks, wells and kitchens and is well worth a visit.