Citadelle Laferriere, located some 12 miles from Cap-Haitian

The city of Cap-Haïtien is located near the historic Haïtian town of Milot, which lies about 12 miles away. This little city in Haiti is known to be the first Capital of Haiti. Henri Christophe, who took power in 1807, renamed Cap-Francais as Cap-Henri and built his Sans-Souci palace in Milot.


About miles away from the Sans-Souci palace is a massive stone fortress bristling with cannons, atop a nearby mountain. The Citadelle Laferrière is a fort that was built with the labor of 20,000 men high atop a mountain to protect against a return of the French.

It is the largest fortress in the Western Hemisphere, the 8th wonder in the world. The Citadelle Laferrière has itself become an icon of Haiti and without a doubt the most popular historical attractions in the country. Henry Christophe has decided to build Citadelle Laferrière as a threat in case the French would consider retaking the island.

This building which has been a major engineering accomplishment for the time would be a place to monitor any approaching invasion force and for the government to retreat to should it become necessary.

Citadelle Laferrière is equipped with 365 cannons. The walls of that historic monument are more than 130 feet tall, and the Citadelle covers an enclosed area of more than 108.000 sq. ft. More work was done in the foundation of the building. According to recent studies, the foundation of the Citadelle Laferrière are embedded deep, straight into the stone of the mountain, Bonet L'Eveque.

The Citadelle Laferrière is the largest fortress in the Americas and was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1982

On clear days, its silhouette is visible from Cap-Haïtien.

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