The Citadel sits like a marooned ship on a 3000 foot mountain overlooking the Caribbean and the city of Cap-Haïtien. It is an imposing fortress, one of the largest in the Americas and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site—along with the Sans-Souci Palace at the base of the mountain. The Citadel was built by Henri Christophe, a leader during the Haitian slave rebellion after Haiti gained independence from France at the beginning of the 19th century.
The massive stone structure was built by 20,000 workers to protect the newly independent nation of Haiti from French attack. At the base of the fortress walls, enormous stockpiles of cannonballs still sit in stacks. The Citadel’s ramparts are lined with hundreds of beautiful cannons still bearing the crests of 18th Century monarchs, obtained from many nations.