Coll. Henri Alaux. Cl. Dominique Baudreu.  
The lists district before full
expropriation. Photograph
Léopold Verguet, about 1863.
Coll. Henri Alaux. Cl. Dominique Baudreu.   
The lists district after full
expropriation. First half
of the XXth Century
Coll. Henri Alaux. Cl. M. Bouffard.
Soldier on guard and occupant in front of one of
the houses in the lists district. About 1860
 he local leaders and intellectuals, and in particular, Jean-Pierre Cros-Mayrevieille, organised themselves to preserve the endangered fortress. This was by no means an isolated act, for it was part of a new awareness of historical heritage. From 1835, they had the active support of Prosper Mérimée, inspector of historic monuments. The old Saint-Nazaire - Saint-Celse Cathedral was the first to benefit, in 1840, from being classified as a protected historic monument. This was quickly followed by the beginning of restoration work. Classification was extended to the rest of the fortress in 1849, and the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc immediately carried out a detailed study of the state of the fortifications in view of future work. Similarly, in 1852, the State undertook the progressive clearing of the houses in the lists, resorting if necessary to expropriating the property of the the inhabitants who bitterly resented these authoritarian measures. This long term operation lasted more than half a century and symbolised the city's entrance into a new status as a historic monument, to the detriment of its residents who were dispossessed of their destiny.


 The will to preserve
  the old city
 Participants in Preservation
 The role of the war ministry