Rare view of Montmedy, in Northern France, showing the French Siege in 1657.
In 1221, the first castle of Montmédy was built on top of a hill by the Count of Chiny. Montmédy soon became the capital of his territory. Later it belonged to Luxembourg, Burgundy, Austria and Spain. The original castle was replaced with a fortress by Charles V in the 16th Century. The castle was replaced by modern fortifications during the Reign of Charles V, with construction starting in 1545. Upon his death, Montmedy came under Spanish rule, and the fortress was improved up until the mid 1600s.
In 1657, the French undertook a siege of the castle, attended by Louis XIV, in which the great military fortifications architect, Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban was wounded while commanding the French troops. Following the French conquest, Vauban updated the fort twice, in 1679 and in 1698, adding demi-lunes and widening the covered way but not significantly altering the shape of the citadel.
During the French Revolution, Louis XVI was captured at Varrenes while trying to reach Montmedy. After the Franco-Prussian War, Sere de Rivieres had underground barracks built at Montmedy.