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This map covers the region that was the border between France and the Duchy of Savoy, which stretched from Geneva in the north to Nice on the coast. There were various conflicts between France and Savoy, so artillery fortifications were first built in the 16th century.

In the north the mountain passes were the key to protecting the frontier. The Savoyards built a modern fortress at Montmélian and Fort Barraux, which was captured by the French in 1598 and used as a counter to Montmélian. On the French side citadels'were built at Gap, Briançon and Grenoble during the Wars of Religion.

On the coast, the fortresses of Antibes and Saint-Paul on the French side of the border opposed the fortifications of Nice. In the 1550s, following a Franco-Turkish attack on the coast, the Duke of Savoy had a new fortified naval harbour built at Villefranche-sur-Mer, protected by Fort Mont Alban.

In the 1690s, the Savoyards made several attacks across the border into France. In response, Louis XIV'had his engineer Vauban'improve the frontier defences. Vauban strengthened the fortifications at Briançon, Colmars-les-Alpes and Entrevaux and built a new fortress at Mont-Dauphin.