Vallespir is a region marked by history ; located at the foot of the Pyrenees, therefore bordering Spain, its geographical location has strongly influenced the area. Fort Bellegarde in Perthus, was built on earlier fortifications in the 17th century by Vauban and is a masterpiece of military architecture. This architect made the decision to build this authentic fortress in 1668. In 1674, while the work was in progress, Spanish troops seized the fort and decided to make changes. However, this work never saw completion because the French took the Fort back in 1675. Subsequently the fort’s role in history didn’t become important until the Second World War when the monument served as an internment camp for the dark period of the Retirada in January and February of 1939.