The Citadelle Laferrière is a colossal mountaintop fortress in northern Haiti nearly 17 miles south of the city of Cap-Haitien. The Citadelle has itself become an icon of Haiti and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The immense physical dimensions of the mountaintop fortress have made it a Haitian national symbol, featured on currency, stamps and tourist ministry posters. Henri Christophe wanted The Citadelle to be constructed, a key leader during the Haitian slave rebellion, he was also the man behind the command for the Sans Souci to be made after Haiti gained independence from France at the beginning of the 19th century.
The huge stone structure was built by up to 20,000 workers as part of a classification of defenses designed to keep the recently independent nation of Haiti safe from French intrusions. The Citadelle was built to deter attacks and to provide a vantage point into the neighboring valleys.
Visitors looking to assess this untouched monument in person can expect to be welcomed by locals selling handicrafts outside mini markets, to be given an outline of the history behind the magnificent building by tour guides, and a one mile walk uphill where horses can also be hired for a small fee to those in need of help in terms of getting up the mountaintop.