Tournai was fortified with some crude demi-lunes and bastions in front of the medieval walls by the Spanish, but these fortifications were not enough to stop the town falling to Louis XIV in 1667. The town fell after a siege lasting just 4 days.
In 1671, the engineers Vauban and Mesgrigny began to improve the towns defences, constructing some more demi-lunes and bastions to protect the medieval walls.
They also constructed 4 large hornworks and a pentagonal citadel in the south. The construction of the latter required the destruction of 300 houses for the creation of the esplanade.
Mesgrigny was responsable for much of the detail of the works, including the citadel, which had extensive countermines and unusual false-brays in front of the walls and bastions. The fortifications of Tournai were demolished in the mid-19th century, and there are few remnants today.