The first 'Fort de la Rade' was built in the years 1692-1704.
It controlled access to the harbor of Aix island and
protected the harbour and arsenal of Rochefort on the mainland.
In 1757 the fort was heavily bombed and largely destroyed by the English.
In the years 1810-1814 a second -much stronger- Fort de la Rade was built
and the bourg of Aix island was turned into a citadel.
Today, the fort houses an apartment hotel, a campground and a sailing school.