The Huguenot memorial
in Ile Sainte-Marguerite

In memory of the long martyrdom of Protestant ministers

Along with the Castle of If, in Marseilles, the Tower of Constance, in Aigues-Mortes, and the Fort of Brescou, in Agde, the fort on the île Sainte-Marguerite is one of the four royal prisons on the Mediterranean coast.

The fort on île Sainte-Marguerite: a royal prison

  • The word prevented © Mémorial huguenot (2005)
  • Huguenot cross Fort Sainte Marguerite © Collection privée

Protestants were imprisoned in the fort for “religious offenses” in the 17th and 18th centuries.

In 1950 a Huguenot memorial was placed in a former cell. It pays homage to six Protestant ministers jailed for life:

  • Paul Cardel called Noyer,
  • Pierre Bruneton called Valsec,
  • Gabriel Mathurin called Lestang,
  • Matthieu de Malzac called Bastide, Molen or de Lisle,
  • Elisée Giraud
  • Gardien Givry.

Exiled at the time of the revocation of the edict of Nantes, they clandestinely came back to France to preach the Gospel, the pastors were arrested in Paris, sentenced to life imprisonment and jailed in the fort.

To break their isolation, they sang psalms, signs of prayer and assertion of their faith, which could be heard from one cell to the next.

The memorial mainly consists of a commemorative plaque and a modern work of art (2005) barred speech, which reminds us of the tribulations and trials of French Protestants under the Ancient Régime, beyond the particular story of each jailed minister, is the ever present worldwide struggle for freedom of conscience and freedom of opinion. The memorial created under the aegis of the Society of French Protestantism history, has been housed in the musée municipal de la Mer (Municipal Museum of the Sea) in the city of Cannes since 1985.

The Huguenot memorial in Ile Sainte-Marguerite
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The Huguenot memorial
in Ile Sainte-Marguerite

Fort de l'île Sainte-Marguerite

Itinerary to this location

Author: The Huguenot memorial in île Sainte-Marguerite


  • Sites
    • Site du Mémorial huguenot de l’île Sainte-Marguerite | Link

Associated tours

  • Royal repression against the Protestants

    The revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 made any Protestant worship illegal, for instance temples were demolished and pastors expelled. As for the Protestants, they were forbidden to...

Associated notes