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Pavillon A.T.M.
1, allée de Verdun - 04200 Sisteron
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Texts by E. Robert

The exhibition « Vauban and his predecessors »

Photo The exhibition « Vauban and his predecessors »

This exhibition, conceived by the historians Christian Corvisier and Isabelle Wermoes, takes you on an exciting journey through the history of fortification in the XVIth and the XVIIth century. Seventeen thematic panels tell you Vauban’s story, his character and his military genius in the light of his predecessors’ works. For the first time, Vauban’s original plans of his project for the Citadel of Sisteron as well as the city’s surrounding wall, included as part of the fortification, are displayed. A book game, offered to children, allows them to go through the exhibition and enjoy it.

Prince Jean Casimir of Poland's dungeon


Photo du cachot de Jean Casimir de Pologne

Visiting the dungeon where this young Polish prince spent a few months makes you realize his amazing destiny. He was imprisoned on order of Richelieu, cardinal and King Louis XIII’s chief minister, from 23 February until 16 August 1639. Later on, he became King of Poland and decided to abdicate before coming back to France where he ended his life in a cloister in Nevers...

The exhibition of horse-drawn carriages

Photo de l’exposition de véhicules hippomobiles

Walking through this exhibition allows you to discover fodder carts, planters, tipcarts, carriages, a tilbury and even a donkey cart, as well as some vehicles used for farm works or means of transport on the roads of our countryside at the beginning of the last century. An amusing discovery for children.

The film « citadelle ! navire des hommes… » « citadel ! a vessel for mankind… »

With the voice-over of the French actor Jean-Claude Brialy, presenting its history.
Saint-Exupéry wrote “Citadel, I built you as a vessel, I have nailed you up, rigged you, then let you sail away through time which is but a favourable wind, Citadel, vessel for mankind! Without you, men wouldn’t know what eternity means”.
With this beautiful film, André Roman and Michel Jacob offer to your imagination a 25 minute journey. Such as a stony vessel put on petrified waves, the Citadel invites you for a journey through eternity. Maria Casares, Yehudi Menuhim, Patrick Dupond evoke the prestigious Nights of the Citadel, while Gérard Philipe walks up the fantastic underground stairs.

The museum

Photo du musée

In two rooms, the museum displays drawings, prints, lithos, all collected by Pierre Colomb. They tell you the story of the Citadel through different ages and of the outstanding figures who left their mark on it. The weights of the ancient clock, installed at the top of the keep in 1402, are exposed, as well as one of the American bombs which devastated Sisteron and its Citadel in August 1944. In the first room, wonderful sketches by Father of Martelange, a French architect of the Jesuit order who came to Sisteron around 1604/1605, provide views of the Citadel and the city’s surrounding wall, almost like a photograph. Portraits of Marguerite of Provence, married to Saint Louis, remind us that she stayed in Sisteron several times. François I, victorious in the battle of Marignan, came here to meet his wife, Queen Claude, his mother Louise de Savoie and his sister, the Duchess of Alençon. The Duke of Lesdiguières, leader of the Protestants, fought his first battle when the place was under siege by Catholics in 1562. Prince Casimir of Poland was imprisoned by Richelieu in 1639. Vauban stayed there in winter 1692 and conceived his ambitious project for the Citadel. Its present appearance is due to Louis Philippe and Napoleon III who decided the transformations become necessary with the development of artillery. The second room is totally devoted to Napoleon’s return from the Isle of Elba. Day after day, hour after hour, you can follow the triumphal journey from his landing in Golfe Juan on 1 March until his arrival in Lyon on 10 March. Provence, then royalist, was hostile towards the Emperor and the Citadel was ready to use its 24 guns: the Emperor’s journey could be stopped at any moment. However, on 5 March, in the morning, the Citadel ran out of powder. So, Cambronne and his 46 grenadiers were able to occupy the city and allow the Emperor to enter…

France3 Rhône-Alpes - Chronique d'en haut