Brouage was founded in 1555. Then it was on the Atlantic coast but since the 17th century it became inland. The bay got filled up with sand and a number of former islands connected to the mainland. Between 1630 and 1640, Richelieu created a fortified wall around the town in his struggle against the Protestant La Rochelle. The fortress served as a weapon storage and could shelter a 6000 man garrison. The fortified walls, which are well preserved, form a square of 400 by 400 meters. There are seven bastions with excellent waiting turrets. Two gates, the Porte Royale and the Porte de Marennes, are still the only access roads. From the ramparts there is a wide view of the surrounding polders and the islands of Aix and Oléron. During the French Revolution, the fortress served as a prison. In the church you will find the names of about fifty prisoners who died here, most of them from malaria.