With the treaty of Nijmegen between Spain and France in 1678, Ieper came under governance of the French and this till 1713. Louis XIV ordered the renowned specialist Marshall Sebastien Leprestre de Vauban with the renewal of the Ramparts. They became so vast that they occupied more surface than the city they were meant to protect. The irony of their fate was the fact that the mighty Ramparts got their baptism from... French cannons, in 1744. By then, Ieper was under Dutch authority.
The 14th century city-fence was preserved. First of all the main wall was foreseen with high and vast bastions. With this, in the south-west and north-west of the city, a part of Burgundy ramparts remained. Beneath these bastions, souterrains (bombproof underground spaces) were established which were previously used as storage space for arms and other material. Subsequently the rampart moats were deepened and broadened. Vauban built amidst these moats separate defence works like demi-lunes and contregardes (half-moon shaped triangular reinforced islands)
Furthermore the Ramparts existed of enormous horn works (M-formed fortifications)
The Beneath City, where nowadays the quay is located, was surrounded with a bastioned rampart. Moreover the rampart city was partially surrounded with vast surfaces of soil which were flooded: the inundations of Mesen, Belle and Paddevijver (ponds).
On the Esplanade you can find the Ammunition Dump which in 1817, under Willem I, was built op the grounds of the Ammunition Dump that was built in 1684 by Vauban but demolished in 1720.
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