The town of Ypres (Ieper in Flemish) grew up in the middle ages and was an important town by the 16th century. Fortified in medieval times and later strengthened with bastions and a citadel by the Spanish, Ypres was a strong fortress by the 17th century.

Ypres viewed from the west.

When the town was annexed by France in 1678, Vauban made some radical modifications to the defences. He demolished the citadel, deeming it inappropriate as it was not situated on high ground, and built a hornwork in its place. In addition to strengthening the town's defences in many places, Vauban made sluices for inundations protecting the town. The order was given to demolish the fortifications in the late 19th century, but the work was carried out half-heartedly and roughly half of the fortifications were never demolished, remaining to this day. The surviving section of fortifications includes the Menin Gate, a massive monument to the fallen soldiers of the Great War, built on the site of Vauban's original gate (which was called the Antwerp Gate at the time).
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Ypres as seen from the north-east. Ypres from the south-east.
Ypres seen from the north-west. Detail of a hornwork on the western side.
A lunette in front of the defences in the south-west. The Menin Gate is just to the right of the hornwork, but the bridge from the demi-lune to the walls is missing from the relief map.
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