Restauration works

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So many events since 2019 have finally led to the long-awaited restart of the restoration work at the citadel!

In February 2019, the town of Bitche, which has owned the site since 1961, submitted the citadel's application to the Fondation du patrimoine and the Bern Mission to benefit from the Loto du patrimoine funds. The project thus submitted was aimed at saving the most fragile works due to time and erosion. The experts were in favour of emergency work on the northern curtain wall and the lower crown (ditches, escarpments and counterscarps). On 23 June 2019, a press release arrived at the town hall announcing that the citadel had been selected as the winner for the Moselle department.

The town of Bitche and the Fondation du patrimoine then opened a subscription campaign on 25 February 2020 to encourage popular and corporate sponsorship for the upcoming work campaign at the citadel.

On June 23th 2020, the selection committee of the Bern Mission and the Heritage Foundation, chaired by Stéphane Bern himself, decided to award €123,000 to the project.
This news was received with great enthusiasm by the commune. The size of the endowment testifies to the interest shown at national level in the preservation of the citadel of Bitche.

The investments to be made have been the subject of an in-depth study for almost two years. A very precise list of the areas to be treated was drawn up, with a classification by order of priority. The areas thus listed all concern urgent health and safety issues, both for the monument itself and for public access.

The amount of the investments was also the subject of a feasibility study with a spread over several financial years and requests for funding. It was in this context that, in addition to the Fondation du Patrimoine and the Bern Mission for the Heritage Lottery, other funders were approached, namely the State for historical monuments (DRAC) and the Grand Est region.

A call for tenders was launched on 25 June 2020. Meeting on 5 October 2020, after having taken note of the report analysing the tenders drawn up by Judicaël de la Soudière-Niault, heritage architect, the tender commission decided to award the contract for emergency and rescue work at the citadel to the company Paul Schwartz SARL of Bitche for a total amount of 295,876.00 euros excluding tax, including the firm tranche, the optional tranche and the possible additional service


LThe service order was jointly signed on 3 February 2021 by Eric Faul representing the company Paul Schwartz, the contractor, Judicaël de la Soudière-Niault representing the project management (Cabinet NASCA, Paris) and Benoît Kieffer representing the town of Bitche, owner and project manager.

2020-2022 work campaign

Six zones ont de travaux ont été priorisées parmi les quinze périls observés. Il s’agit des zones les plus urgentes à traiter :

Work will start in February 2021 for the firm section:

  • the corner chainwork of bastion 1 or north-west bastion (zone 1),
  • the counterscarp of the horned structure of the big head (zone 2a)

Subsequent start-up also for the additional service:

  • two pilasters of the covered passage (zones 8a and 8b in the covered passage of the main entrance to the citadel)

Subsequent start for the conditional tranche:

  • the northern scarp of the horned structure of the grosse tête (zone 3a)
  • the southern scarp of the horned structure of the grosse tête (zone 3b)
  • a keystone in the caponier of the small head (7a)

 Financing plan for the citadel works - 2020-2022 campaign

Firm portion 145 591,37 € State (DRAC) (notified) 50% 167 822,40 €

Optionnal portion

135 030,83 € Région Grand Est (notified) 13% 44 822,40 €
Optionnal works 15 253,80 €

Fondation du patrimoine / Mission Bern (notified)

37% 123 000,00 €
Total works 295 876,00 €      
Project management 24 975,00 €      
Contingencies 5 % 14 793,80 €      
TOTAL BEFORE TAX 335 644,80 € TOTAL BEFORE TAX 100% 335 644,80 €