In the history of military architecture, heights have often been the basis for fortifications. Gallic oppidums were usually built on positions overlooking the surrounding area, such as hills or plateaus. Later, some medieval castles were also built on natural heights, and their walls rose all the higher.
However, the appearance of the metal cannonball put an end to this search for height. In response, the bastioned fortification was developed, which advocated lowering the height of the ramparts to make them less vulnerable to direct fire, which was by far the most destructive.
However, the terrain forced Vauban and Cormontaigne, the two builders of the citadel, to adapt to the terrain. Instead of being low, the ramparts rise to an average of thirty metres. This height is further enhanced by an earthen embankment above the former arsenal, ideal for enjoying the surrounding panorama with a beautiful view of the wooded hills of the Northern Vosges, and an orientation table!