The Widnsor Castle

The Windsor Castle, Diego Suarez, Madagascar

EIn 1827, under the reign of George IV, the English entered the bay of Diego Suarez, under the command of Captain Owen. The first mapping work was then carried out. A short distance away, a small limestone massif separating the Mozambique Channel from the bay, was to become one of the only historical memories of their passage.

Mount Ankaramisampana will become the Dover Castle (690 ft), and Mount Andramaimbo the Windsor Castle (1305 ft). It was not until nearly a century before Windsor Castle come to the memory of men.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the first fortifications of the naval base of Diego Suarez start under the impetus of Marshal Joffre. The legionaries of Captain De Metz will carry out a work of genius, using all the crevices of this limestone promontory. More than a hundred steps are carved directly into the rock. On a first terrace, they build a residential building with a kitchen and a rainwater harvesting system, and on the summit flat 1305 feet above sea level, a tower measuring 16,4 ft by 16,4 ft high, Made entirely of dry stones. It will be the Optical Center of Windsor Castle.

The purpose of this Center is to inform the command of Diego Suarez of any intrusion from the west coast. A garrison and a series of batteries of cannons of 105 are installed below the Courrier bay. In 1943, during the conflict between the French Vichy troops and the English, especially during the Battle of Ironclad, the Optical Center was the scene of bloody clashes.

Today, the Tourist Office of Diego Suarez tries to enhance this site both as a historical heritage and because of its natural interest, both fauna and flora. There is also the 360 ° view, which is said to be exceptional, from this eagle's nest.

Text:Peter Gregor
Photos Pierre-Yves Babelon
Thanks to Evasion sans Frontière, Madiro Kitamby

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