Fort de Chartres was a French fortification first built in 1720 on the east bank of the Mississippi River in present-day Illinois, it was used as an administrative center for the province. Due generally to river floods, the fort was rebuilt twice, the last time in limestone in the 1750s in the era of French colonial control over Louisiana and the Illinois Country. A partial reconstruction of the third and last fort, which was built of local limestone shortly before the end of French rule in the Midwest, is preserved in an Illinois state park four miles (6 km) west of Prairie du Rocher in Randolph County, Illinois. It is south of St. Louis, Missouri in the floodplain area that became known as the American Bottom. The site and its associated buildings were placed on the National Register of Historic Places and recognized as a National Historic Landmark on October 15, 1966, and it was named one of the contributing properties to the new French Colonial Historic District in 1974, along with other area French-influenced sites such as the Creole House, the Pierre Menard House, the Kolmer Site (a former Indian village), and the site of Fort Kaskaskia. The name of the fort honored Louis, duc de Chartres, son of the Regent of France. The fort's stone magazine, which survived the gradual ruin that overtook the rest of the site, is considered the oldest building in the state of Illinois. The state historic site today hosts several large re-enactments at the fort of colonial-era civil and military life each summer.
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Fort De Chartres
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