Citadelle Saint-Elme de Villefranche-sur-Mer

Overlooking one of the most beautiful harbors in the world, Villefranche-sur-Mer and its 16th century Citadel, listed as a historic monument, offer you an exceptional and unexpected setting.

In 1543, war broke out on our shores as Barbarossa's 110 galleys landed in Villefranche, raiding, burning and devastating everything in their path. An early example of bastioned fortification, the Citadelle of Villefranche-sur-Mer was built from 1554 onwards by order of Emmanuel-Philibert of Savoy, to plans by Italian engineer Gian Maria Olgiatti, in order to prevent any assault from the sea.

Since Savoie became part of France in 1860, the Citadelle has been used as a military base by the 24th Battalion of Alpine Chasseurs. In 1965, the city council bought the Citadel. Its restoration was undertaken in 1979. In 1981, the city council decided to install the City Hall and a cultural center (Museums, Auditorium, Théâtre de Verdure).


  • Auditorium
  • Exhibition space
  • Film room
  • Meeting room
  • Parking nearby


  • Available for private hire
  • Room hire


Free access.


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