Citadelle Laferriere, Haiti

Citadelle Laferriere, Haiti

Life Swift
Published on September 24, 2023
Citadelle Laferriere, Haiti


The Citadelle Laferrière is a mountaintop fortress. It is one of the major attractions of people coming to Haiti. It is located in the norther cost of the city. The name of the mountain there is Bonnet a L’Eveque which is 3000 feet high. It is a symbol of Haiti’s power and independence. It is depicted on local currency, stamps as well as postcards. The Citadelle Laferrière is also known simply as the Citadelle.


The Citadelle Laferrière was built in the beginning of the 19th century. Henri Christophe, an army general, has played the major role in its formation. It is thus also called Citadelle Henri Christophe in the honor of its creator. This was built to hold 5000 men in case French would have attacked Haiti. The actual plan was to get all the Haiti people as well as army there and burn the surrounding territory. This would have stopped French from harming them. The sole objective of forming this fortress was for war. But luckily, French army did not attack, thus creating any harm.

This fortress was outfitted with 365 cannons of varying size. These were obtained from different monarchs. These canons and stockpile of cannon balls can still be found in different corners of the Citadelle. They can still be seen pointing out from windows. This mountaintop fortress includes fortification walls and large stores of food and water. Most of the parts of the fortress have no roofs. There are large mansions within it with facilities for royal family.

The creators of the Citadelle Laferrièrehad put in unlimited human imagination. They applied a creative approach for its appearance. This makes it appear in different forms from different location. This was done to confuse the attackers. Some of the angles have protective character. They were designed to deviate the enemy’s cannonballs.


The locals refer Citdelleas the Eighth Wonder of the World. It was also nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. It is not only the largest fortress in Haiti but in the Americas. Built to demonstrate the power of the newly independent Haiti, today, the CitadelleLaferrière is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Haiti. It attracts a large number of visitors each year. The windows of the fortress provide an amazing view of surrounding landscapes. There are fantastic views on three sides of tumbling green peaks. On the north side, one can see street with shops and different activities being done by people.

The capital Port-au-Prince had recent political instability. But it has not affected the ability to travel to CitadelleLaferrière. It is located in northern part which is much peaceful. It is situated approximately 17 miles (27 km) south of the city of Cap-Haïtien and five miles (8 km) uphill from the town of Milot. There are staircases in the fortress through which visitors are allowed to enter the fortress. They then explore different parts of it. From the roof of the colossal structure, the city of Cap-Haïtien and the Atlantic Ocean can be seen to the north during a clear day. I personally believe it is a lovely place to visit. One should never miss this place in case they are going to Haiti.