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Bouchain is located at the confluence of the Escaut and Sensée Rivers and was considered as the key to the Netherlands during the 15th century, due to its dams that enabled the valleys of these rivers to be completely flooded in less than a week.
This stronghold, which was militarised until the nineteenth century, still played a major role in 1940, when it blocked the advance of the German army for six days.
The most beautiful vestige is Ostrevant Tower. This imposing square volume, with its large powder magazine, was built in the twelfth century and is now a museum. Only the bastion of the forges now remains of the fortifications that were commissioned by Charles V in the sixteenth century. It was considered a technical engineering feat at the time.
Under Louis XIV, following the siege of Bouchain in 1676, Vauban began repair work immediately. He modernised the outer defences so this fort would be totally perfect, as it was to hold the second line in his Pré Carré.
In 1687, on either side of Ostrevant Tower in the Upper Town, he had barracks built for the infantry as well as a powder magazine.